ToadRaces with quoteFestival Hours
Friday 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

2017 Schedule of Events

2017 Entertainment Meet and Greet Pictures

 

About the Festival

Since 1982, the Toad Suck Daze festival has been a springtime tradition in the Conway, Arkansas, area. It began on the banks of the Arkansas River in a nearby township named “Toad Suck” before moving to its current location in downtown Conway 25 years ago.

Each year during the first weekend in May, more than 100,000 people gather in the streets of downtown Conway for Toad Suck Daze. The free-admission, family festival has something for all ages: local and national musical entertainment, retail vendors and arts and crafts booths, carnival rides, children’s activities, and of course, the World Championship Toad Races starring our amphibious friends. Several festival-sanctioned events sponsored by local nonprofit organizations take place throughout the weekend as well, including a 10K/5K race and the Tour de Toad bicycle race.

Perhaps what is most significant about the weirdly named festival is its commitment to education. In 1985, Toad Suck Daze awarded its first college scholarship. Since then, the festival has contributed more than $1.6 million to scholarships, scholarship endowments, and more recently, preschool funding. In addition, Toad Suck Daze contributes funds to support projects in downtown Conway. The 2016 festival contributed a total of $87,000 to education initiatives and community improvement efforts.

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.