Toad Suck - Uno

Once upon a time, steamboats traveled the Arkansas River when the water was at the right depth. When it wasn’t, the captains and their crew tied up to wait where the Toad Suck Lock and Dam now spans the river right outside Conway, Arkansas. While they waited, they refreshed themselves at a local tavern, much to the disgust of the folks living nearby, who said: “They suck on the bottle ’til they swell up like toads.” Hence, the name Toad Suck. The tavern is long gone, but the legend and fun live on when Conway celebrates Toad Suck Daze the first weekend every May.

The part of the parade when the women 
hope for a stiff breeze.
Toad Suck Daze is a free admission 3-day small town festival of food, family and fun. There's something for the entire family: arts and crafts, ‘Toadal Kids Zone’, a carnival, local and national entertainment (like Jerry Jeff Walker and Kris Allen), food, rock wall, petting zoo, ‘Stuck on a Truck’, 5K/10K race, golf tournament, a 3 on 3 basketball tournament, magicians, classic car show, and much more. Toad Suck Daze is also home to ‘The World Championship Toad Races’. The festival is run by volunteers from Conway and Faulkner County, including the local police and fire departments. Proceeds go to support higher education in the county. Since the start of the festival 30 years ago, over $1 million has been given in over 200 scholarships to students attending local colleges.

The Toad Suck Queens - always a big hit!

The festival actually starts on Friday with the start of Stuck-On-A-Truck, the opening of booths and the carnival rides, but Saturday morning really kicks things off with the Toad Suck Daze Parade. A bit of bagpipe music and guys in dresses seems like a good way to begin a weekend toadily devoted to hopping amphibians!

Making the local residents so proud!





The Toad Master has arrived. Let the 
festivities begin!

Turkey legs, cotton candy, candied apples, Belgian waffles, Nachos, chicken on a stick, Fried Green Tomatoes, Nutty ice cream bars - all of the standard festival food plus a few more oh so tasty heart attack daring foods are available. Gator on a stick or deep fried Hershey Kisses anyone?
 
Yummy fair food!
A couple of years ago, some evil-doer stole a bunch of the proceeds from the booths selling t-shirts, hats, coffee cups and water bottles. That's pretty darn low to steal money raised by volunteers so kids can get financial help for college. Personally I think he should be hung by his...well, use your imagination. So now almost everything is purchased with Toad Buck$. I never have exact Toad Buck$ change left to get a coke or for Youngest-daughter to ride another ride or something at the end of the day. I don't know how it happens every year. If the cheapest thing is 6 Toad Buck$, I have 5; if I see something for 5 Toad Buck$ that I wouldn't mind taking home or eating, I'll have 4. Rather than finding a Toad Buck$ booth and buying that one missing Toad Buck, I usually just pick out some little kid walking around with their parents as I'm walking out and get the parent's permission to give my leftover Buck$ to the kid. I like seeing the smile on their faces.
 
If you want to buy food or ride the rides, 
you gotta have Toad Bucks.
"Stuck-on-a-Truck" is always interesting. A brand new truck is placed under a tent and contestants must keep at least one hand on the truck at all time. There are a few breaks for snacks, water, and potty, but it is definitely a matter of endurance. Take your hand off the truck and one of the many "Pit Bosses" will see and you're outta there! The last one left standing gets to pass out in their new truck. There are some people that really, really want that truck. Over the years, as contestants lasted longer and longer (4 or 5 days several times), various forms of "torture" have been introduced to make people quit - not letting contestants sit down and playing heavy metal music at a loud volume has become a favorite. Personally, I've been to Disneyland and think all they have to do is play "It's A Small World After All" over and over. That would crack even the members of Seal Team 6. Sleep deprivation often results in some weird hallucinations and occasionally the on-hand medical personnel are called into action. And a good time is had by all! 

Usually a young skinny dude wins, but
this year a girl won!

The Toadal Kids Zone is a great place for adults to sit for a while and let the younger ones enjoy themselves in the sand pile. Buckets and shovels provided!
 
Toadal Kids Zone
Come on back tomorrow for Toad Suck Dos! You wouldn't want to miss the toad races now, would you? (Toad Suck Dos)


The car show is always popular.











Lots of fun and laughs watching the kids
race their toads.



Souvenirs to buy at the Toad Store

A vendor selling beautiful wooden flowers is just
one of the dozens of booths with hand-made
arts and crafts and other cool stuff on display. 
The local Harley dealer showing off the
latest Hog.

Plenty of entertainment night and day featuring
both local and nationally famous talent.