Conway, Arkansas, the hometown of “American Idol” finalist Kris Allen is the kind of place where ….
… Strangers you’ve just met offer to take time off from work to make sure you see Toad Suck Park.
… There’s actually a place called Toad Suck Park.
… The front page of the paper has stories hyping the annual Toad Suck Daze celebration every day of the week leading up to the blessed event. (Robert Randolph’s headlining this year!)
… Just about every window on the main drag downtown is painted with messages of support for hometown hero Allen, like, “We Love Kris Allen!”
… The hotel manager leaves you a long, handwritten note singed with a smiley face and offers to help you find restaurants or sights you might want to see.
… A local restaurant offers Allen free cheesy dip for life.
… An MTV crew coming to town makes it into the local newspaper, above the fold, next to a story about how local burglars are getting bolder in their crimes. (The swine flu, FYI, was relegated to the bottom of page one, in the corner.)
… The paper, the Log Cabin Democrat, has a full-page insert meant for window-hanging that reads, “Conway, Arkansas, Backs Kris Allen,” encouraging townspeople to vote and attend Tuesday night’s Kris Allen Watch Party at the local college basketball arena.
… The mayor offers to meet with you to discuss Allen.
… Did we mention Toad Suck Daze?