Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other VITs (Very Important Toads) helped kick off the 36th annual Toad Suck Daze in downtown Conway by racing their toads on Friday.

The ever-popular toad races return this year along with some newcomers, such as the new Acxiom Toad Suck Tinkerfest.

“In 2018, Toad Suck Daze is teaming up with the Museum of Discovery to bring hands-on and open-ended exploration of materials, tools and technology,” Conway Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO previously told the Log Cabin.

In addition, the Interactive Science Stage will host the AETN Character Meet and Greet, Museum of Discovery Awesome Science Shows, Conway Symphony Orchestra Instrument Petting Zoo and more.

The festival opened Friday and will continue from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Food vendors will stay open until the festival closes each day. Toad Market vendors are open until at least 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.

After the races, the toads are returned to Tucker Creek.

The award-winning Toad Suck Daze is an education-based festival and all proceeds support education initiatives and scholarships.

Over the past 35 years, the festival has garnered more than $1.7 million for area schools.

For a complete list of events, visit ToadSuck.org.