Conway, Arkansas: Toad SuckA town and its park offer many snapshot opportunities to pose next to signs with the words "Toad Suck" on them.
Visitor Tips and News About Toad Suck
Toad Suck Sights
Toad Suck Park is along the Arkansas River about ten miles south of Conway. Toad Suck Square is in the center of the town of Conway [corner of W. Oak and Front Sts] and there's a big Toad Suck Daze emblem painted in the street at the intersection. There's also a Toad Suck Square marquee, similar to the electronic "zipper" message board you always see in New York City's Times Square.[signmanjoe, 08/13/2015]
Toad Suck Daze are held annually in early May. The "toad suck" name supposedly started as a slang term for riverboat crews that hung out at a nearby tavern.
The story goes that the river men used to drink at a tavern near the ferry, so much that "They would swell up like big old toads." Of course that is a joke -- Arkansans have been known since territorial days as being lovers of tall tales! A more likely story is that it is the corruption of a French phrase for a narrow channel in the river.
The old river man who told me the tavern story was so delightful and colorful that I prefer the tavern story![Michelle Posey, 05/14/2015]
There really was a Toad Suck Ferry boat that could haul two or three cars across the Arkansas River. The ferry ended when the Kerr/McClellan lock and dam was completed sometime in the late '60s.
I once rode across the river on the ferry boat with several of my friends from college. The boatman was a very congenial, home boy who passed around his quart fruit jar of moonshine. It was some powerful juice![Hal, 12/23/2009]
Toad Suck Park is a lovely RV park operated by the Army Corp of Engineers on the Arkansas River. We have had family from many states meet there for a great family vacation.The first time I saw Toad Suck, the ferry was operating and a good fish restaurant was on the bank. Now they are both gone. A large bridge crosses the river and you can sit and watch the boats and barges go through the system of locks. In Spring many bus loads of children descend on the park to enjoy a day of play at the end of the school year.[Barbara Jordan, 07/29/2008]
The name is apparently the only thing unusual about Toad Suck.
The center of Conway's downtown is called "Toad Suck Square." A giant Toad Suck emblem is permanently painted in the intersection of Oak Street and Front Street. The emblem is ceremonially retouched (blocking the busy intersection) just before the annual "Toad Suck Daze" festival that is held the first weekend in May every year. An oversized yellow and green street sign labels this as "Toad Suck Square." This is also where the mayor's office is located.
A Toad Store is located on Oak Street one block West of Toad Suck Square.[Nikki, 12/25/2007]