NIXA, Mo. — After being canceled last year, Nixa’s Sucker Days is flopping its way back this Friday and Saturday.
The festival will have rides, a sucker toss, a cornhole tournament and other events.
The Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce said the festival has a long, successful history and also leaves an economic impact on the area
“Sucker Days to me, goes way, way back,” James Dunham, a regular at Nixa Sucker Days said.
Dunham has been going to Sucker Days his entire life.
“Well, I’m either 38 or 83. I can’t remember which,” Dunham said. “No, I’ll be 83 in a couple of weeks.”
He says when he was younger, many people would skip school to go sucker fishing which got Nixa’s attention.
“They decided rather than fight it, to join it,” Dunham said. “So they designed the end of the calendar to be a Sucker Day holiday.
“They shut down the town. They’d block off Main Street here for about a block and you’d have family after family after family presenting their version of what a sucker ought to taste like.”
It’s a tradition Dunham missed last year.
But is happy to see it back this year.
“Glad to see it’s coming back,” Dunham said. “It’s good for the city.”
“We’re excited to be able to bring this back because this benefits so many people,” Chris Russell the President and CEO of the Nixa Chamber of Commerce said. “You think about those who are in the arts and crafts business, or the food truck business, or the non-profit business who need this event to help raise funds for them.”
Russell says non-profits like “4 the Love of K-9s,” and Nixa’s Downtown Revitalization Committee will benefit from the festival.
“They do various projects in downtown like we’re getting ready to do a new mural which is going to be fun,” Russell said. “But it’ll come from funds that are generated during Sucker Days.”
The event is free to attend, but a wristband for rides costs $5, same goes for the beer garden if you plan to drink.
“How much money we want to make? It’s not about that,” Russell said. “The byproduct is we provide an amazing place, an amazing fun event and festival for Nixa, and hopefully some of our non-profit organizations benefit from those proceeds.”
Russell says the festival helps bring business to Nixa. More often than not nearby restaurants are crowded during the two-day event.
Sucker season just ended on May 15th and Russell says he had fishermen grab them until then to get ready.