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Programming At The Festival

Check out the programming lineup for the 2023 World Food & Music Festival presented by Veridian Credit Union.

  Cooking Challenge  |  Culinary Discovery Pavilion  |  Cultural Activity Pavilion  |  Cultural Stage  |  Festival Adventure Tents  |  Festival Passport  |  Naturalization Ceremony 

Spark DSM Business Incubator  |  Festival Front Porch

Festival Programming

MidAmerican Energy Company Cooking Challenge

The MidAmerican Energy Company Cooking Challenge at the World Food & Music Festival places teams against each other in a high-energy race to assemble the perfect meal and prove that they are the top chefs of the World Food & Music Festival. Teams will be given a limited time to shop the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines before rushing to The Festival to assemble the perfect dish to impress an esteemed panel of celebrity judges. 

Onsite cooking will begin at 11:15 a.m. in front of the Prairie Meadows Main Stage.

Culinary Discovery Pavilion sponsored by Midwest Living, a Dotdash Meredith brand 

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

Cultural Activity Pavilion sponsored by Global Atlantic

Featuring a great mix of local ambassadors and fun activities, the Cultural Activity Pavilion 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). Activities and programming will include: Games of Mexico, Hmong Culture, Gateway Dance Theater, Blank Park Zoo, Ancient Art of Mehendi, Life in South Sudan, Japanese Children's Games, Dances of India and more. See full lineup here.

Cultural Stage sponsored by Principal®

The Cultural Stage will feature musical stylings such as the Morningstar Dance Troupe, Brazilian music/acrobatics, Soul Steppas, a Ukranian vocalist, Scottish bagpipes, a Vietnamese vocalist, Japanese drums/dances and more! See full lineup here.

Festival Adventure Tents

Explore authentic tastes from around the world from exotic fruits like jackfruit, cherimoya and kiwano, to savory beverages from their countries across the map and learn more about the cultural backgrounds behind each morsel at the Festival’s adventure tents.

Fruit Adventure Tent Sponsored by Voya.

Visit the Fruit Adventure to explore exotic fruits like jackfruit, cherimoya and kiwano. Learn about where the fruits are native around the world and even sample one. Fresh fruit will be provided by Hy-Vee and Melissa’s World Variety.  

Sampling is available at the top of each hour from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday.   

Candy Adventure Tent

Visit the Candy Adventure for an exploration of flavors from around the world. This family-friendly experience will give festival attendees the opportunity to sample candy from different areas and cultures.    

Sampling is available at the top of each hour from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday.   

Spark DSM Business Incubator

The Festival is one of the events participating in the Spark DSM Business Incubator to support small businesses. The program will host businesses and approved startups businesses at two special incubator-themed booths. The Spark DSM Business Incubator is sponsored by Principal and EMC Insurance.

Learn More

Festival Front Porch

The Festival Front Porch is the premier gathering space to relax and take in the sights and sounds of The Festival. Just like the rest of The Festival, admission to the Front Porch is FREE.

Festival Passport

Travel around the world during your visit to the World Food & Music Festival. Taste different food, watch a dance, listen to a new musician, learn about a culture or immerse yourself in a demo with a chef. Get your passport stamped to be entered into a drawing to win a prize. Pick up your passport at The Festival’s information booth and redeem it at The Festival Front Porch. 

Naturalization Ceremony

The Naturalization Ceremony will take place on Friday, Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. to kick off The Festival. The ceremony will start with a land acknowledgment. There will be 100 people who will take the oath to become a U. S. Citizen.