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Toads come to party

Posted: May 2, 2014 - 2:37pm
Tara Mallett enjoys her lunch at Toad Suck Daze.
Tara Mallett enjoys her lunch at Toad Suck Daze.

Toad Suck Daze has arrived. This is the 33rd annual festival celebrating the community of Conway. The streets are alive with the sounds and smells of the fair as vendors fry their way to the hearts of the attendees. Toad Suck Daze this year comes with a few changes alongside their traditional events.

The annual Stuck on a Truck event will not happen this year, which has been a surprise to many who have attended the event throughout the years. Although the great challenge to outlast your competition waiting in your hope-to-be truck brought many spectators and truck gladiators to the festival, a new kid on the block has shown its face. “The Crain-Arvest Challenge is an 85-foot-long military-style, inflatable obstacle course,” said the website. The challenge will offer an amazing set of prizes topping off at a $5,000 cash prize to the top winner.

“It will simulate a military course, which would be a climbing wall, a rope swing and where you kind of have to crawl through the ropes – that kind of thing,” said Lori Melton, vice president of business development for Arvest Bank.

For those looking for a pop-twist to their Toad Suck Daze festivities, MC Hammer will be in attendance. Not only will Hammer perform for the anticipated 150,000 guests, but will also be a host of the “LaunchPad” start-up competition. This event will award $15,000 to one of ten eligible Arkansas Entrepreneurs.

According to Chamber President and CEO, Brad Lacy, “most people know his music, but they don’t know that he is a major player in Silicon Valley.” Hammer works with social media to build his music advertisement and his business venture.

Saturday morning festivities will be kicked off with a 5k and 10k run. Running enthusiast and walkers alike can try their hand at the Toad Suck Races. One foot in front of the other and some fancy strides will propel these runners to the finish line and hopefully to victory.

For parents looking for some age-specific activities, the Toadal Kids Zone will boast musical acts, balloon artists, and much more. Don’t miss out on having some fun in the sun and getting your face painted.

While celebrity appearances, races, kids games, and fried food seem to be the focal point of this festival, due to the recent tornado tragedy in the surrounding areas, Toad Suck Daze will be providing a host of ways for visitors to donate to tornado relief. The devastating EF4 tornado destroyed 328 homes said David Hogue, Faulkner County Attorney.

Buckets for donations will be set up around the festival for people to donate whatever amount they can. Following the scheduled events, the Chamber of Commerce will collect all donations and disperse them equally among the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and United Way.

“Having 150,000 people in one place, in one weekend gave su a unique opportunity to raise money for those who’ve been tragically impacted by the tornadoes,” said Jamie Gates, Senior VP, Conway Are Chamber of Commerce.

It is the Chamber’s hope that the festival will bring a bit of light back into the lives of all people affected by the storm.

“The best part of Toad Suck Daze is it’s a free festival,” said Wayne Cox, event organizer.

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