Toad Suck Daze at a Glance

03 May 2024 in

Toad Suck Daze at a Glance
By Hailey Decker

Come join Arkansas PBS on May 3 through May 5 for the annual Toad Suck Daze festival in downtown Conway. This yearly celebration is a way to bring people together to commemorate the heritage of Conway and enjoy the community of central Arkansas. Whether you are seeking delicious food, live entertainment or interactive activities, Toad Suck Daze has something for everyone.

Arkansas PBS, headquartered in Conway, will be bringing the fun with PBS KIDS characters who love to pose for photos and meet their youngest fans - and free educational materials to keep learning fun.


The name “Toad Suck” originated more than a century ago from the crew and passengers of steamboats that traveled along the Arkansas River. Whenever the water was not high enough to continue, the passengers of these steamboats would take a break near Conway. They were notorious for spending their time at a local tavern while they waited for the water to rise. They became known for “sucking on the bottle until they swelled up like toads” by the local people. Because of the unique title of “Toad Suck” the festival is renowned for its traditional toad races. There will be numerous races throughout the weekend that anyone can participate in – festival even provides the toad.


Toad Suck Daze is the perfect place to bring your kids for a fun-filled weekend. Arkansas PBS can be found at the intersection of Chestnut and Oak Streets. PBS KIDS costumed characters include Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, Peg + Cat and Zadie from “Work It Out Wombats.”

Kid-focused activities are endless and include a petting zoo, balloon artists, face painting, character meet-and-greets and much more. There will also be multiple hands-on activities that are enjoyable and educational at the same time. The play areas and amusement rides will also be a hit for the kids.

Another unique aspect of Toad Suck Daze is its education focus. Not only does the event offer educational activities but is used as a fundraising tool to raise money toward local education. Support for education is a large part of the festival’s purpose and it has awarded $2 million in scholarships to over 300 students. It has recently begun to fund preschool activities as well.


Although the festival is more than welcoming to families with children, Toad Suck Daze is for people of all ages. If you are in the mood for some shopping, you can browse the many retail booths that will include jewelry, home decor, t-shirts and crafts. Live entertainment is also an appealing feature to many at any event. Toad Suck Daze will host countless acts such as Arkansauce, Kris Allen and Matt Stell, who will be performing on the main stage. There will be plenty more performances during the duration of the weekend so that everyone can get the chance to witness live entertainment no matter their schedules.

Want dinner and a show? Toad Suck Daze offers a large variety of food options, whether just wanting a snack or dinner. The great number of concession booths will offer everything from funnel cakes to fajitas. For a full look at the 2024 menu, you can go here.

Arguably the best part about Toad Suck Daze is that entry is completely free. There are not many places where you can enjoy live entertainment at no cost. If you do decide to buy merchandise or partake in activities that cost money, you will be supporting children’s education while doing it.

To find more information or look at the full 2024 festival schedule, go here.


Originally from Bentonville, Arkansas, Hailey is currently pursuing a marketing degree at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.