It’s a party with a purpose and one that celebrates the community, this year the Ford Neighborhood Awards held its 12th award show weekend for the first time in Atlanta. Formerly called The Hoodie Awards, the weekend was previously held in Las Vegas.
Moving the Ford Neighborhood Awards to Atlanta increased attendance for the weekend, which was now able to benefit from the drive-up market that the south offers. A huge success, more than 150,000 people – most of them African-American women – came to experience the four-day weekend that included a wide range of cultural experiences and entertainment activities.
The actual Ford Neighborhood Awards took place at the Philips Arena, where more than 18,000 people showed up to see Steve Harvey and his celebrity friends salute contenders in 12 categories like Best School Teacher, Best Church Choir, Best Barber Shop, Best Soul Food Restaurant and Best Community Leader.
Presenters on the show included Sherri Shepherd, Hill Harper, Sheryl Underwood,Wendy Raquel Robinson, Rickey Smiley, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kirk Franklin, Shemar Moore, Yolanda Adams, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Erica Campbell, RonReaco Lee, Ed Gordon, Keke Palmer, LisaRaye McCoy, Sommore, Roland S. Martin, Kym Whitley, George Wallace, Michael Jai White and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.
“Steve Harvey Morning Show” talent Shirley Strawberry, Nephew Tommy and Carla Ferrell were also presenters on the show.
One of the highlights of the show included an impromptu comedy battle between comedian Lavell Crawford and actor/comedian David Mann.
In addition to the actual show, Ford Neighborhood Awards Weekend included Nephew Tommy’s Stand-Up Comedy Jam, Freedom Friday All White Party featuring Kem and The O’Jays, the Morgan Stanley financial education seminars, a live “Steve Harvey Morning Show” broadcast with performances by John Legend and George Tandy Jr., and a post show after party featuring a performance by Bell Biv DeVoe.
The Ford Neighborhood Awards will return to Atlanta, a city that Harvey said “really wanted us here.” The talk show/game show host thanked the city’s mayor Reed for “rolling out the red carpet for us,” and expressed “I’ll be in Atlanta for a long time. This is way better than they thought it’d be.”
For a list of winners from the show, visit www.neighborhoodawards.com.
PHOTOS: Check out photos from the Ford Neighborhood Awards below. (All images courtesy of Getty Images for Ford Neighborhood Awards)