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Programming At The Festival

Check out the programming lineup for the 2022 World Food & Music Festival.

  Cooking Challenge  |  Culinary Discovery Pavilion  |  Cultural Activity Pavilion  | Fruit Adventure

Festival Incubator Program  |  Festival Front Porch

Festival Programming

Cooking Challenge

The World Food and Music Festival Cooking Challenge pits teams against one another in a high-energy, high-stakes race to assemble the perfect meal and prove their culinary prowess. Each team must impress an esteemed panel of celebrity judges utilizing ingredients purchased at the Downtown Farmers' Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines while navigating a few surprises along the way.

Culinary Discovery Pavilion


All weekend long, local chefs will demonstrate their culinary skills, offer samples of their delectable creations and share instructions for how to prepare them in the 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 Activity Pavilion

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). 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.

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.  

Festival Incubator Program

The World Food & Music Festival has introduced an Incubator Program to the event to support minority-owned small businesses. The program will host minority-owned businesses and startup businesses at two special Incubator booths, providing these vendors with a unique opportunity to sell their products alongside other Festival vendors.

The businesses highlighted in the Festival’s Incubator program parallels the Downtown Farmers’ Market Incubator Program, which was created to improve access and economic growth for local small, minority and historically disenfranchised businesses across Greater Des Moines (DSM) and grants these individuals with higher levels of visibility.

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.