St. Joseph School first grader Audrey Magie and her toad “Molly” won first place at Thursday’s “Jump for Education” toad race in downtown Conway. The toad races, a regular event during the city’s annual Toad Suck Daze festival, went on this year despite the traditional festival format being changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Thursday’s races took place in the parking lot on the corner of Parkway and Main Street. The “Jump for Education” race participants, chosen via a competition amongst local school children, competed to win an iPad for themselves and their school teacher. Magie, who also won St. Joseph’s toad race on Tuesday, won her teacher Hannah Yrle an iPad for her victory.
Prior to Thursday, all elementary students in Faulkner County received a “toad toter” to carry their toads in ahead of their schools’ races, courtesy of International Paper, a Toad Suck Daze sponsor. Festival officials also involved members of the community in rounding up toads for Thursday’s races, offering $2 per toad delivered.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in April, festival organizers opted to spread Toad Suck Daze activities out over a six-week period instead of the traditional weekend format. Festival activities will end with a special concert on June 11 at the University of Central Arkansas.