Some of the coolest things around Arkansas were born from benders: Hoo-Hoo (formally The International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo), a lumberman's fraternity based in my dear ol' Gurdon, was conceived over booze, I understand. Also, the larger part of Glenwood. And thanks to a few pie-eyed, riverboating scamps from decades past who would drink during Faulkner County stopovers until they "swelled up like toads," we have — voila! — Toad Suck Daze.
In name at least, it's the best festival in all of America and, by default, the whole dang world. You know what to expect: toad races, three-on-three basketball, a golf tournament, a petting zoo, fried food, dudes who want a truck, touching a truck. Ankle-biters armed to the teeth with stink bombs and silly string. Leather belt vendors. People who walk slow. And it's all worth it (particularly since it's free).
This year's entertainers include locals Adam Hambrick, Riverbilly and Wes Jeans playing beside Mr. Bojangles himself, Jerry Jeff Walker (Saturday, 9 p.m.), and zomgswoon! Kris Allen (9:30 p.m., Friday).