A couple of hot young stars in country music and a couple of classic rock acts will headline Toad Suck Daze in downtown Conway this weekend.
The festivities, featuring art, food, music on two stages and activities for all ages, kick off Friday, May 5, and are put on by the Conway Chamber of Commerce. The festival is celebrating its 25th year.
Miranda Lambert, who toured here with George Strait earlier this year, will perform along with Jason Aldean on Friday. Survivor, known for its “Rocky III”-inspired hit “Eye of the Tiger,” and the Guess Who, the Canadian superstar group of the 1970s led by Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, will play on Saturday night.
Chuck Gatlin opens Friday’s music on the main stage at 5 p.m., followed by Riverbilly, an Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase finalist, at 6:30 p.m., Aldean at 8 p.m. and Lambert at 9:30. Young Lambert, the Lindale, Texas, native, whose debut album “Kerosene” was one of the brightest entries in the country music scene last year, says on her website that she has been working on a duet with Aldean and may add it to her set.
Saturday’s music schedule opens with singer-songwriter Alan Hambrick at 11 a.m., Happenstance at noon, 2006 Musicians Showcase finalist The Munks at 1:10 p.m., Forrest Williams at 2:30 p.m., YesterYear at 4:15 p.m., Loose Ends at 6 p.m., Survivor at 8 p.m. and the Guess Who at 9:35 p.m.
The music takes on a spiritual feel on Sunday with Daze of Praise at noon and FFH at 3 p.m.
Bongo Willie, Michael Cooper, Tyler Bass, Happenstance and Sara Thomas will perform on the Acoustic Stage Friday, while Musicians Showcase winner Hannah Blaylock and Eden’s Edge will headline Saturday’s lineup on the stage, with 2002 Showcase winner Runaway Planet, Rock Creek Bluegrass, Len Holton and Bongo Willie also performing.
A car show is set for Saturday at Bank of America, and a talent show starts Friday at Second Baptist Church. The Toad Suck Kids Zone will feature a Build-a-Bear Workshop, and other events at the Toad Zone at Parkway and Oak streets include dancing groups, twirlers, martial arts, cheer teams and jump teams, and toad races Friday starting at 4:30 p.m., Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., and Sunday starting at 1 p.m. The championship toad races are at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
All the fun is free. Take exit 127 off Interstate 40 (Oak Street) to find the main festival activities.
As for sports events surrounding the festival, the Toad Suck Cup Golf Classic is Friday at Centennial Valley Country Club, while the Toad Suck Softball Tournament runs Friday through Sunday at the Don Owen Sports Complex (call 501-472-9940). The 5K/10K races start at Conway High on Saturday at 8 a.m. For more information, call 501-327-7788 or visit www.toadsuck.org.