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Toad Suck Daze

By Lindsey Millar


Since 1982, the Toad Suck Daze festival has celebrated the legend of Toad Suck, the Perry County township just west of Conway, which supposedly got its name when it was a frequent stopover spot for steamboats waiting for the channel of the Arkansas River to reach an acceptable depth. The steamboaters would hang out in a local tavern, where they would suck on the bottle until they swelled like toads. The festival began in Toad Suck before moving to Conway 25 years ago. Today, it’s something of a mini Riverfest that draws 100,000 people. There are kids activities, retail and arts and crafts vendors, carnival rides and the famous toad races. Then there’s music. This year’s line-up checks many twangy boxes: Like Christian rock with a helping of Southern roots? Mac Powell (the former Third Day lead singer) and the Family Reunion perform 8 p.m. Friday. Country rock more your speed? Nashville’s A Thousand Horses has a new anticipated album out June 2 produced by super producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson); catch ’em 9:15 p.m. Friday. The music starts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Make a special effort to show up by 6 p.m., when Little Rock’s honky-tonk heroes The Salty Dogs take the stage. Conway native Erin Enderlin has written songs for the likes of Alan Jackson, Lee Ann Womack and Luke Bryan. She’s got a great voice, too, and performs here for the hometown crowd at 7:40 p.m. Noted socialist, anti-death penalty activist, David Simon collaborator, novelist, playwright, addict and Guy Clark fan Steve Earle headlines at 9:15 p.m. Late night, Kings Live Music hosts the after-party. Make sure and check out past Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winners Dazz & Brie. Where they are is where the party is.


May 3, 2019 @ 10:00 pm
May 7, 2019 @ 1:00 am
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