Rhythm Ride: Ford Brings Detroit Beats To New Orleans Heat

Ford returned to the Essence Festival this year, an event that they’ve been the premiere sponsor of since 2009.

This year, the iconic automotive company began its road to New Orleans by partnering with R&B newcomer Sevyn Streeter on a Road To Essence web series. Streeter was especially excited to make her Essence Festival debut and perform on her actual birthday.

“It’s been great to partner with Ford for my first Essence Festival. I’m just so excited about being here,” Streeter told guests, at a private Ford dinner at the Borgne restaurant inside New Orleans’ Park Hyatt Hotel.

Additionally, for a sixth consecutive year, Ford gave away a vehicle on the main stage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to one lucky winner.

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Ford presented a booth at the Essence Festival Expo Hall in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center where attendees could see celebrities and some performances during a live broadcast by their festival partner, SiriusXM satellite radio.

The Detroit-based automotive manufacturer is best known for vehicles like the Escape, Fusion, Taurus, Fiesta, Focus, Edge, Flex, Expedition and Explorer also had a fleet of vehicles in New Orleans that festivalgoers could sign up to test drive.

In conjunction with their partnership with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure, Ford broke away from their signature blue and went pink during one of the days in the Essence exhibit hall as part of their Ford “Warriors in Pink” campaign.

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The Ford Superlounge at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome included performances by SWV, Alice Smith, Daley, Marsha Amrbrosius, Raheem DeVaughn, King, and Streeter.

Sevyn Streeter & Ford media guests

To cap off their successful weekend, Ford announced that it will donate $1 million to Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to help celebrate richness and diversity of the African American experience.

The donation from Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm, will support the museum’s capital campaign. It will also go toward funding key programs when the museum – the only national site devoted exclusively to documenting African American life, art, history and culture – opens on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2016.

PHOTOS: Check out these images below from Ford’s participation at the Essence Festival.

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