New Orleans was on cajun fire this 4th of July weekend as Essence Magazine rolled into town for the 18th annual Essence Music Festival. Celebrity spotting (Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, etc.) was mixed with good food and regular folks having a grand time. It was the perfect way to enjoy a holiday break in the "Big Easy"!
Ford Motors was one of the main sponsors of the festival, flying down a group of writers, editors and bloggers to experience the event and test drive the all-new fleet of Ford vehicles for 2011 and 2012. The revamped Ford Explorer, Ford Edge and Ford Focus were the hit of the show at the ride and drive they provided at the Convention Center in New Orleans. I was driven around in the Explorer through out the weekend enough to know I was good on whippin¹ it around the city, so I tried the smaller Edge on them mean streets (peep the pics here). To my surprise I liked it a lot. Between the smooth ride and the super digital interface of the center console, I was able to have fun and try to confuse the computerized voice assisted MyFord lady. I kept asking her to get me a cheeseburger and with her replies hilarity ensued. My man SékouWrites (simplyrides.com) is going to post that video soon.
Riding around in the various cars weren¹t the only thing that Ford had planned for us. They graciously planned a balanced trip of music shows with VIP access and free time for us to enjoy all that the ³Crescent City² had to offer. From all of the amazing food (like Daisy Duke¹s shrimp poe boy to Calcasieu¹s fried cheese grits), Bourbon Street¹s livid lifestyle and the southern hospitality exhibited by all, I had the time of my life. Peep the video below of my trip through my directing/shooting skills, then view the video by Ford Motors (they gave away a car at the show!) and judge for yourself why you need to be there next year. - Datwon Thomas, Editorial Director VIBE.com