The opening of the Toad Store on Thursday heralded the official beginning of the 32nd Toad Suck Daze season in downtown Conway.
The unique venue, located at 1321 Oak St., opened for business following a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Conway Chamber of Commerce.
The store is home to all 2013 Toad Suck Daze T-shirts, golf shirts, umbrellas, onesies, toys and corporate toad-themed gifts.
Festival coordinator Mary Margaret Satterfield said the store could satisfy the itch for all kinds of festival-related memorabilia, including the addition of Toad Suck-themed beach towels.
"We have some new merchandise this year that we are excited about, and everyone can come in and pick out their T-shirts," Satterfield said.
T-shirt costs are $15 for adult sizes S-XL, $17 for adult sizes 2X-4X, and $12 for youth sizes.
Proceeds from Toad Store purchases are put towards the festival’s overall budget, Satterfield said.
Brian Ratliff, ceremonial toadmaster, officiated the ribbon cutting in ringleader attire and led Conway officials in the traditional dance, a toad variation of the Hokey Pokey.
VITs included Conway Fire Chief Bart Castleberry, County Judge Allen Dodson, Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrow and Conway Chamber of Commerce representative Lindsay Wygal.
Toad Suck Daze will commence with crafts, food, entertainment and fun May 3, 4 and 5.
Headlining entertainment this year is Kip Moore on Friday, Diamond Rio on Saturday and Hawk Nelson on Sunday.
The Toad Store will remain open through the end of the festival Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Since the festival’s inception in 1982, over $1 million has been given in scholarship endowments, helping over 200 individuals attend local institutes of higher learning.
For more festival information, including a list of vendors and a schedule of attractions, visit www.toadsuck.org.
(Staff writer Megan Reynolds can be reached by phone at 505-1277 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net.)