The Mardi Gras Skills Challenge (Possibly sponsored by Taco Bell)

Instead of going to the actual Skills Challenge, I ventured into a Mardi Gras parade and found a very different kind of competition.

Saturday night of All-Star Weekend features the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. This does not mean Paul George and Stephen Curry battle it out to see who can eat the most chalupas. Trust me, I checked. Apparently it is a challenge of basketball skills. Yawn. We already know you have ball-handling skills, guys. You play in the NBA.

I ventured out to find something more exciting: The Krewe du Vieux Mardi Gras parade. As I wandered the city by myself, two magical things happened by pure accident. One, I somehow ended up in the prime parade spot with a front row view.


And two, I stumbled upon a skills challenge of my own.

Led by two drag queens, the crowd was informed that they would be having a skills challenge (OK, they didn't use the words "skills challenge" and I'm fairly certain this wasn't sponsored by Taco Bell, although who can be sure?). The skills challenge would be broken down as such:

  • Hula hoop competition
  • Limbo competition
  • Booty shaking competition
  • Best chest competition

Finally, a challenge to truly test the skills of the people. Now, you might say that having a good chest is not a skill, and you would be right. They never actually got to the best chest competition, so it is entirely possible that it was a "most skilled chest" competition. We might never truly know.


The hula hoop competition ended up being akin to watching NBA players showcase their passing skills, if said NBA players suddenly had no arms. The hula hoop competition ended before it really even started. They really need to focus on choosing better participants next year.

The limbo competition was intense. This was the dunk contest of Mardi Gras. All the showmanship belongs to the limbo competition. This is the chance for participants to really showcase their skills and their style, going under the limbo stick with as much panache as possible.


Most notably, this featured a male contestant in an American flag coat and hat, chanting "U-S-A!" frequently. He really brought his A-game to the limbo competition this year. However, in the end, style points don't really count and the winner ended up being a particularly bendy small woman. American flag dude was robbed.

The booty shaking contest was a real disappointment. The judges were a sham and clearly biased. No one really put any heart into it. That probably makes it the best metaphor to this entire weekend.

But I did get to see some sports once the parade started. Look at this entire float dedicated to basketball! Just some good, wholesome family basketball. (Note: not actually wholesome. Parental advisory suggested).


Even the Olympics made a cameo. Really covering all their bases. Or a basketball metaphor that is also relevant. I don't know. I'm very tired.



I think I made the right decision.

(Click here for the rest of Lana's All-Star Travelogue)

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