Toad Suck Daze: The Festival

I adore street festivals.  From the little stalls selling everything from vintage postcards to used clothes to painted rocks to the not so scary midway rides, I always find something that makes me smile.  The street festivals in New Orleans are some of my favorite – the roving musicians, the amazing food, the general smiley attitude- but I’m happy to drop in on any festival I hear about.  Last year I went to a small festival in North Arkansas that was entirely based on folk singers..complete with banjos and dulcimers.  This year I ventured to Toad Suck Daze, an annual event held in Conway, Arkansas.

Now Conway isn’t too far from my home but I have never once taken the time to visit the festival.  It is a HUGE tourist event and the idea of milling through a hundreds of thousands of strangers causes my body to issue several little ticks in various places.  But the kids wanted to go and, considering it was a Sunday and the last day of the festival I figured the crowd might be manageable.  Thankfully, it was and we ended up having a fantastic day.

The festival used to be held at Toad Suck Park along the Arkansas River (which was discussed in another entry) but as it grew bigger it moved into the historic part of downtown Conway.  The event lasts three days and all of the proceeds benefit scholarships for local schools.  Like any street festival, it had it’s share of midway games, carnival type rides, food and market stalls.  It also has more toads than you can possibly imagine (plush, plastic, pebbles and real ones were all here!)  the infamous Toad Races (which they take soooo seriously) and the exhausting Stuck on a Truck event.  Since this was a photo heavy day, I’m posting several different entries.

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