Toad Suck – Bigelow, Arkansas - Atlas Obscura

Toad Suck

Bigelow, Arkansas

Town not known for anything except its strange name. 


An unincorporated community in the middle of Perry County, Arkansas, Toad Suck is known for nothing more than its name. But the residents of this little sub-town have no problem capitalizing on that. A drive through Toad Suck will bring visitors past dozens (if not more) signs that proudly declare the name: Toad Suck!

“What does ‘Toad Suck’ mean anyway?,” the town’s official website asks - before telling you. “Well, the answer is quite simple.... Long ago, steamboats traveled the Arkansas River when the water was at the right depth. When it wasn’t, the captains and their crew tied up to wait where the Toad Suck Lock and Dam now spans the river. While they waited, they refreshed themselves at the local tavern there, to the dismay of the folks living nearby, who said: ‘They suck on the bottle ‘til they swell up like toads.’ Hence, the name Toad Suck. The tavern is long gone, but the legend and fun live on at Toad Suck Daze.”

Toad Suck holds an annual fair to draw new visitors in and to raise money for scholarships for local kids. First organized in 1982, the fair is actually held in the downtown area of Conway, a nearby town, the first weekend in May. The fair used to be held in the unincorporated community of Toad Suck, but after eight years, severe flooding at the river led organizers to move it to Conway’s downtown, where it has remained ever since.

Know Before You Go

Toad Suck, Arkansas, sits just south of I-40, west of Conway on Hwy AR 60 near the river.

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July 20, 2011

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