The hidden contest was a pair of wall hangings: a quilt by 42itous and a photomontage of various fruits and vegetables by Qoz, that were placed fairly close to each other on walls outside the breakout rooms. Combining information from the two led to the ultimate solution.
Obviously, it is not possible to solve this puzzle without the poster, but there is a message entirely hidden within the quilt which is solvable.
The quilt is shown below; click on the image for a higher–resolution version
Bar Exam (the Extravaganza), by Navin, Shaggy, Spelvin, and Zebraboy
I think it's fair to say that most of the Krewe were a bit disappointed when we read in the program that the Extravaganza was titled “Bar Exam”— a rather dull prospect of a lawyer–themed set of puzzles with an end-goal of making partner most likely. A passable theme, but quite frankly a tad uninspired given the constuction team; I think we had all expected significantly better.
When we entered the room and found our tables, there was a green folder containing puzzles (that we were not to open until instructed), and a plain brown envelope that we were not to open until a “dramatically appropriate moment.”
And here is where narrative fails and I very much wish I had video; Spelvin emerged as Willy Wonka (with Shaggy as a now-aged Charlie Bucket) and announced that he was once again opening his factory to a few more lucky children who find golden tickets. And thatthis would be a dramatically appropriate moment for us to learn who the winners were. Opening the plain brown envelope revealed that we were some of the lucky children!
Mr Wonka then sang a song (which Songlian happily videoed), but was interrupted by a phone call, whereupon Mr Slugworth (Zebraboy) and his assistant Harley (Navin) came out to bribe the competitive teams to steal secrets (found in the bonus puzzles) for him.
This was one of the very best extravaganzas I’ve ever solved. The theme was excellent, the puzzles were excellent and all tied in to the theme, and the flavor performances were wonderful. And the use of bonus puzzles for the competitive teams was an excellent innovation—it meant that the casual teams had a perfectly good extravaganza to solve, and resulted in all teams finishing at roughly the same time.
All the puzzles are available as a single zip file, or you can access the puzzles individually (as long as you have a Golden Ticket).
The walls of the 6th floor (where our meeting and breakout rooms were) were covered with chalkboards. Which were promptly puzzle-ified.