Toad Suck Daze
Toad Suck Daze is an annual community music, arts, and food festival in Conway, Arkansas. It takes place every year in downtown Conway and has been celebrated for over 30 years.
The Toad Suck Daze festival attracts an estimated 160,000 visitors each year. Notable attractions at the event include music, arts and crafts, a variety of food, carnival rides, and toad races. For these races, visitors enter toads that they have brought from home or that were bred in the community for this purpose. The festival raises money to give educational scholarships to Faulkner County citizens. Over the past 28 years, the Toad Suck Daze committee has given over US$1 million in scholarships and toward scholarship endowments.
First organized in 1982, the festival is held annually in downtown Conway, Arkansas, during the first weekend in May. Originally held in Toad Suck at Toad Suck Park near the Toad Suck Ferry Lock and Dam, the festival was moved to the downtown location in 1990 due to flooding at the river, and it has remained in the downtown area ever since. The festival is run by volunteers from Conway and Faulkner County, including the local police and fire departments.
The legend behind Toad Suck refers to the time when steamboats traveled the Arkansas River. When the water was not deep enough, the steamboats tied up where the Toad Suck Ferry Lock and Dam now spans the river near Conway. While captain and crew waited, they loitered over refreshments at the local tavern. People living nearby commented, "They suck on the bottle 'til they swell up like toads."
References to Toad Suck Daze in popular culture
- Colbert, Stephen. "Better Know A District - Arkansas 2nd". The Colbert Report. Comedy Central. Retrieved 10 January 2014.