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2012 U.S. Cellular® World Food Festival Expands Food Options, Offers Live Entertainment and Activities!

Posted September 14, 2012 in Downtown, Community Web Exclusives

DOWNTOWN DES MOINES – Celebrate Iowa’s unique and diverse culinary traditions at the eighth-annual U.S. Cellular® World Food Festival Sept. 21-23, in Downtown Des Moines’ East Village. Hours are Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21 and 22, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Guests are invited to taste samples for $1 at every Cultural Café vendor, or go for the full-plate options for $5 or less. The Cultural Café includes 40 vendors showcasing food from around the globe including America, Bosnia, the Caribbean, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Greece, Hawaii, India, Mesopotamia, Mexico, Russia, and El Salvador. The Festival will also feature 16 imported beers, as well as a handful of Iowa Craft beers, domestic beers and international wines for purchase.

2012 U.S. Cellular World Food Festival On-Site Activities include:

·         NEW THIS YEAR!  U.S. Cellular Foodie’s Choice Award – Vote for your favorite festival food vendor for the 2012Foodie’s Choice Award, sponsored by U.S. Cellular. Festival attendees can scan the QR code next to each food vendor booth with a Smartphone or device to select their favorite vendor via U.S. Cellular’s convenient mobile voting site.  Results will be posted daily and an overall winner will be announced after the festival.

·         Meredith Culinary Discovery Pavilion – Live cooking demonstrations from a variety of local chefs take place at the Meredith Culinary Discovery Pavilion. Stop by the Pavilion at the corner of East Locust and East Fourth to learn new techniques and sample some ethnic creations. Don’t miss out on the cooking secrets from local chefs like Chef George Formaro of Centro, Django, Zombie Burger and Gateway Market; Chef Carlos Acevedo of Meredith Corporation; Chef Ian Robertson of Bistro Montage; Chef Andrew Meek of Sbrocco; and Chef Chris Caes of Wakonda Country Club. For a full schedule visit <> .

  • NEW THIS YEAR!  COUNTRY Financial® Cooking Challenge – Saturday, Sept. 22 from 11 to 12:30 p.m., Corona Stage – Three teams of young chefs from local high schools will compete to be called the 2012 COUNTRY Financial® Cooking Challenge champions! Teams will shop the Downtown Farmers’ Market for fresh ingredients, race to start the challenge at 11 a.m., in front of the Corona Stage on the Festival grounds, and then prepare tasty dishes for celebrity judges.  Judges include Jannay Towne, anchor and reporter for WHO-TV 13; Simon Conway, WHO Radio Host; and Kristin Porter, Iowa Girl Eats blogger.  The emcee for the competition will be Scott Carlson, owner of Court Avenue Brewing Company and Americana Restaurant in Downtown Des Moines.  Points will be awarded to each team based on the taste of their dish and their creativity in using the Market ingredients they purchase. The winning team will be announced at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday during the Festival.

·         NEW THIS YEAR!  Hy-Vee Tailgate Tent – Hy-Vee will be on site throughout the Festival grilling up fan-favorite tailgating treats including burgers, brats, hot dogs and smoked chicken legs. Johnston Communications will be on hand with two large TVs so guests can watch their favorite games right inside the Hy-Vee Tailgate Tent. Sports fans won’t have to miss a thing while they enjoy the Festival!

·         Live Entertainment on the Corona Stage – The Corona Stage will host live entertainment throughout the Festival. Acts include Salsa Vibe on Friday night, David Zollo and Dustin Smith on Saturday afternoon, and Leradee and the Positives on Saturday night. For the full lineup visit

·         Marketplace Vendors and Non-Profit Group Activities – The Marketplace features merchants and artisans selling a unique selection of clothing, food and gifts. Local non-profit organizations offer interactive, educational activities for guests while also promoting their organization’s goals and events.

Volunteers are still needed on-site for the event.  Each volunteer receives a U.S. Cellular World Food Festival volunteer t-shirt.  For more information, a complete schedule of events or to register as a volunteer, visit Media inquiries can be directed to Amy Yost, 515-286-4906.

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