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2019 Programming At The Festival

Culinary Discovery  |  Cultural Discovery  |  Fruit Adventure Tent  |  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.

Fruit Adventure Tent presented by Voya Financial


The Festival’s Fruit Adventure Tent presented by Voya Financial offers children and adults a unique experience to celebrate fruit from around the world. Visit the Fruit Adventure Tent to explore exotic fruits such as jackfruit, cherimoya and kiwano. Learn about where they are from in the world and even get a taste for yourself! Fresh fruit provided by Hy-Vee, Inc.

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.

Meals from the Heartland presented by Wells Fargo 

Together with Meals from the Heartland, volunteers packaged over 75,000 meals during the 2019 Festival that were sent to people in need of food assistance around the world.

People's Choice Contest sponsored by MORE 104.1

Vote for your favorite food vendor in the World Food & Music Festival People's Choice Contest, sponsored by MORE 104.1. Congratulations to the 2019 People's Choice Content Winner, Filipino Store!

To vote for your favorite food vendor, visit World Food & Music Festival's Facebook page during the festival.

Naturalization Ceremony


In 2019, 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. 150 individuals became U.S. citizens at the start of The Festival.

The Festival will host its third annual Naturalization Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

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 naturalization ceremony that was held in Downtown DSM last year.

2019 Program Sponsors