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Programming At The Festival

Culinary Discovery  |  Cultural Discovery  |  Adventure Tents  |  Cooking Challenge  |  Meals from the Heartland  |  People's Choice Contest  |  Naturalization Ceremony

Meredith Culinary Discovery Pavilion

All weekend long, local chefs will demonstrate their culinary skills, offer samples of their delectable creations and share instructions of how to prepare them in the Meredith Culinary Discovery Pavilion. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for anyone who enjoys live cooking demonstrations or is interested in expanding their recipe book.

Cultural Discovery Experience

Featuring a great mix of local ambassadors and fun activities, the Cultural Discovery Experience offers a virtual trip around the world with workshops, interactive presentations and hands-on activities. Each event is designed to expose visitors to authentic cultural experiences here in Greater Des Moines (DSM). In past years attendees learned about Taiko Japanese Drumming, created Zen Calligraphy Characters, participated in world trivia with foreign exchange students and met cultural ambassadors wearing traditional attire from other countries.

Support for the Cultural Discovery Experience is provided by the Iowa Arts Council – a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts.

Adventure Tents

The Festival’s Adventure Tents offer children and adults a unique experience to celebrate food from around the world in a way that was understandable, relatable and fun. Each Adventure offers a multi-sense learning experience and special program times to further that exploration.

Chocolate Adventure

How does a cocoa bean become a bar of chocolate? At the Chocolate Adventure, guests can learn all about chocolate from Beaverdale Confections. Hold a cocoa bean and learn about where it’s grown and how it’s turned into delicious chocolate! Children are invited to make a chocolate lollipop that they may enjoy at The Festival or save it for later. 

Nationwide Cooking Challenge

The Nationwide Cooking Challenge pits four teams against one another in a high-energy, high-stakes race to assemble the perfect meal and prove their culinary prowess. Teams must vie to create the perfect dish to impress an esteemed panel of celebrity judges utilizing ingredients purchased at the Downtown Farmers’ Market while navigating a few surprises along the way.

Come watch the challenge on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.! 

Meals from the Heartland 

Together with Meals from the Heartland, volunteers packaged over 60,000 meals during the 2018 Festival that were sent to people in need of food assistance around the world. Stop by the Meals from the Heartland display to learn more about this program and the international community it supports.

This program is presented by Wells Fargo.

People's Choice Contest

Vote for your favorite food vendor in the World Food & Music Festival People's Choice Contest, sponsored by MORE 104.1. The winner will be announced Sunday at 3 p.m. on the Polk County Board of Supervisors Main Stage.

To vote for your favorite food vendor, visit World Food & Music Festival's Facebook page during the festival. After you vote for your favorite, if you share the post, then your favorite vendor will receive an extra vote! Voting opens Friday, Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. and concludes Sunday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m.

Naturalization Ceremony

In 2018, the World Food & Music Festival was proud to host a Naturalization Ceremony for the U.S. District Court on the Polk County Board of Supervisors Main Stage.

Naturalization is the process by which a foreign citizen or national becomes a U.S. citizen.  Festival guests are welcome to watch this special ceremony and celebrate the achievement of these individuals. Read more about a recent naturalization ceremony that was held in Downtown DSM.

Program Sponsors