Toad Suck Daze to Collect Contributions for Tornado Relief Effort

CONWAY, Ark. (April 29, 2014)  – The 33rd annual Toad Suck Daze festival will open as planned this Friday, May 2. A tornado struck neighboring communities Mayflower and Vilonia on April 27, destroying homes, businesses and infrastructure.

“Toad Suck Daze reaches well beyond the Conway city limits. The storm directly and tragically affected many of our committee members and volunteers,” said Brad Lacy, president and CEO of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time of recovery.”

In response to the need for sustained support, collection points will be located throughout the festival. All contributions will be divided among local chapters of the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and United Way.

“More than 150,000 people will attend Toad Suck Daze,” said Lacy. “The festival offers us a unique opportunity to collect contributions and keep this issue in front of Arkansans. We hope to make a meaningful impact on the recovery efforts.”

Festival attendees will see contribution buckets at all Toad Buck Booths and major events such as concerts. An additional fundraising event has already been scheduled for Friday night. At 5:30 p.m., a group of local musicians will put on a benefit concert on the Preston Palmer Studios Stage in the Smith Ford Toadal Kids Zone.

About Toad Suck Daze

Since 1981, the Toad Suck Daze Committee of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce has held a fun, family-oriented festival the first weekend in May. The festival has raised more than $1.4 million in endowed or directly awarded scholarships. More than 220 Faulkner County students have received Toad Suck Daze Scholarships. Since 2012, Toad Suck Daze has awarded more than $100,000 to local early childhood education initiatives.

2014 Honorary Co-Chairs

As your Honorary Co-Chairs, we invite you to attend the largest, free-admission, family festival in Arkansas – Toad Suck Daze. The 33rd annual festival, presented by Crain Buick GMC and Crain Kia, will take place in beautiful downtown Conway on May 2-4. We ask you to join us for a weekend filled with music, food, arts and crafts, and family fun entertainment for all ages.

This event has great meaning to our family because of its power to make a difference in the lives of others. We are honored to be asked to join forces with business and community leaders to raise money to strengthen the future of our youth.

Toad Suck Daze continues to support education initiatives. In the history of Toad Suck Daze, more than $1.4 million has supported educational programs for our children. This year, $35,000 will provide direct support in the form of scholarships to local students attending Central Baptist College, Hendrix College, the University of Central Arkansas, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.

In addition to helping students pay for college, $40,000 will fund the continued growth of Conway’s pre-K initiative titled Arkansas Preschool Plus, formerly known as Lifelong Learners. As a community, we understand the importance of early childhood development and its connection to an individual’s complete academic success.

So gather up your toads, friends, and family, and come join us during this fun-filled weekend. We can’t wait to see you there!

About the Festival

Toad Suck Daze is a FREE-ADMISSION festival; a three-day festival of food, family and fun held on the streets of downtown Conway, Arkansas. This ‘Laid Back Weekend’ occurs annually the first weekend in May and has something for the entire family: arts & crafts, ‘Toadal Kids Zone’, a carnival, local and national entertainment, food, rock wall, petting zoo, ‘Stuck on a Truck’, 5K/10K, golf tournament, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, magicians, and so much more! Toad Suck Daze is also home to ‘The World Championship Toad Races’. The festival is run almost exclusively by volunteers from Conway and Faulkner County, including the local police and fire departments. It has free admission and proceeds go to support higher education in Faulkner County. Since the start of the festival, more than $1.4 million has been given in scholarship and towards scholarship endowments. This money has helped over 200 individuals attend local institutes of higher learning.

What does “Toad Suck” mean anyway?

Long ago, 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. While they waited, they refreshed themselves at the local tavern there, to the dismay 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 at Toad Suck Daze.