If you happened to spy bizarrely dressed groups of people pushing equally weird-looking shopping carts along the sidewalks of downtown Phoenix over the weekend, you weren't hallucinating.
The Arizona Cacophony Society held the annual Phoenix Idiotarod on Saturday afternoon and caused plenty of colorful chaos as more than 30 teams of five people (or more) adorned costumes and piloted decorated metal and plastic shopping trollies during a combination bar crawl and race. Each cart had a particular theme and the entries ran the gamut from silly to surreal.
It also felt like more like a pageant or a parade than a competition, as most of the participants were more interested in just showing up and showing off what they'd conjured up for their carts. (Awards were also given for the more creative and original enteries). Here's our list of the coolest and most creative carts at the event.
6. Saved By The Beers
Alcohol plays a huge role in the annual Idiotarod, as competitors stop at nearby bars during the race and certain challenges involve beer and wine, so its fitting that this team was inspired by the popular game of beer pong. Rubbish cans were painted to red and white to resemble gigantic Solo cups, a gigantic ping-pong was constructed, and their cart contained a mobile version of game for anyone to play.
5. Mush Puppies
During the historic Iditarod, mushers utilize teams of canines to pull their sleds along a 1,049-mile course through the wilds of Alaska each year. During the hilarious Idiotarod, however, one team flipped the script by having a team of mushers pull a cart piloted by a sled dog.
4. The Misfit Sex Toys
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, one of the most beloved Christmastime television programs of all time, was the basis for this team's entry into the Idiotarod. Each of its five members dressed up like a character from the holiday special, whether it was aspiring dentist Hermey the Misfit Elf, the towering Yukon Cornelius, or the loveable Abominable Snow Monster of the North.
3. Turtle Soup
Speaking of beloved children's TV programs, this fivesome decked themselves out as the villainous Shredder and the members of his Foot Clan from the '80s cartoon favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And through the use of a couple garbage cans, a traffic cone, and some silver spray paint, the metal cart became a Foot Clan transport module. Bodacious!
2. Channel 4 News Team
In honor of the zany Will Ferrell flick Anchorman, dope doppelgangers of Ron Burgundy, Brick Tamland, Champ Kind, Veronica Corningstone, and Brian Fantana bombed around downtown with shopping cart decorated like the Channel Four news van. They were also sporting boxer shorts ("Because news anchors are only shown for the waist up") and wielded a hand grenade, brass knucks, and a trident, in case any of the other teams was eager to rumble. Stay classy, Phoenix.
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A cadre of more than 20 people recreated King Arthur's entire entourage from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in painstaking detail, right down to manservants using coconut shells to simulate galloping and wandering minstrels serenading them along the way. Quite frankly, it was the highlight of the entire race. They even sung and danced to "Knights of the Round Table" before they left the starting line and handed out shrubbery to boot.
Click here to see more photos from the Phoenix Idiotarod 2012.