The World Food Prize Foundation

First Annual World Food Festival Announced


World Food Festival Announced

The World Food Prize Foundation and the Downtown Events Group announced the creation of the World Food Festival, a new community celebration.  The Festival will be held in conjunction with the 2005 World Food Prize Harvest Festival October 13-16, 2005.  The World Food Festival will invite Iowans to explore a variety of diverse culinary traditions from around the world, including the communities in their own backyard.  The Festival will be the first new major downtown event produced by the Downtown Events Group, which was formed earlier this year by the Downtown Community Alliance in conjunction with the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

“The World Food Prize Foundation is thrilled to be working with the Downtown Events Group on the World Food Festival,” President of the World Food Prize Foundation Ambassador Kenneth Quinn said.  “This new addition will be a perfect complement to our World Food Prize events, which in 2004 drew participants from 62 countries, and will help us involve more Iowans in our international event.”

The mission of the World Food Festival is to celebrate the many ethnic and international cultures from around the world, including those represented here in Iowa.  The World Food Festival will line the streets of the East Village on the way to the Capitol and will feature ethnic cafes, folk artisans, a variety of entertainers displaying authentic dress and choreography, and a global market where attendees will be able to purchase items from around the world.  Serving as a gathering place for the community, the Festival will offer the community a chance to get involved in the event through vendor, volunteer and participatory opportunities.

“The World Food Festival will be an all-inclusive event,” Executive Director of the Downtown Events Group Mo Dana said.  “Together with the World Food Prize, we hope to offer our local, diverse communities an additional forum in which to share their cultural history and traditions, and to foster additional community appreciation and understanding.”

The Festival is expected to draw thousands of visitors from across Central Iowa and the Midwest.  This celebration will help meet the needs of Des Moines’ diverse communities by bringing together new and native Iowans for the educational, three-day event.  With no admission charge, the Festival will give the entire community the opportunity to take part in recognizing Des Moines as the home of the World Food Prize and in showcasing Iowa’s diverse populations through the rich cuisines of its people.

“As visitors get a taste of the world’s different culinary creations, they will also benefit from experiences in entertainment, history and the culture of Iowa’s many ethnic groups,” Ambassador Quinn said.  “This event will provide an educational setting and be the perfect venue for families to educate their children about the rich heritage of the State of Iowa.”

To enhance the focus of this year’s World Food Prize nutrition theme, the World Food Festival will provide a variety of food, including healthy options available in Iowa.  The Festival will also feature educational components, such as cooking demonstrations and health and wellness information to assist patrons with planning nutritious meals and establishing a healthier lifestyle.

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