by Robert Bell
TOAD SUCK DAZE
5 p.m. Simon Park. Free.
I'd always thought the name Toad Suck Daze was a nod to good ol' Bufo alvarius, a.k.a., the Colorado River toad, whose psychedelic venom has inspired story and song. But not so, according to The Encyclopedia of Arkansas. The name actually refers to a spot on the Arkansas River called Toad Suck, which got its name because the boatmen who operated the ferry "frequented a tavern there, and it was said that they would suck on the bottle until they swelled up like toads." And besides, that type of amphibian doesn't even live around these parts. (Aside: Please don't ever, ever actually lick a toad. The toads don't enjoy it and it ain't gonna get you high.)
Anyways, Toad Suck Daze is a free music and arts festival that's packed to the gills with all manner of fun and games, such as Stuck on a Truck, an endurance test in which the person who manages to keep one hand on a Ford F150 the longest will win that Ford F150. There'll be music, as well, with headliners such as '90s R&B superstars En Vogue on Friday, Drake White, Randy Houser and country tunesmith Jamey Johnson on Saturday and Jonny Diaz and Todd Agnew on Sunday.