Bringing the community together, the history behind Nixa’s Sucker Days

Published: May. 20, 2023 at 1:30 PM CDT|Updated: May. 21, 2023 at 1:00 PM CDT
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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) - Nixa is hosting its 65th annual Sucker Days, and the festival has fun for the whole family.

With rides, arts & crafts vendors, entertainment, and of course, the suckerfish fry, there’s fun for the whole family on Main Street in Nixa this weekend.

Sucker Days is more than just a fun festival, however. It’s also rich with history.

The event started decades ago when a group of people caught a bunch of suckerfish and wanted a way to bring the community together, according to Nixa Mayor Jarad Giddens.

“So Sucker Days started years and years ago. The guys went out and caught a bunch of suckerfish and decided they wanted to bring the community together,” said Giddens. “So they started offering up free suckerfish and then it just kind of grew from there, and kept growing and kept growing and now it’s extended all the way down Main Street.”

One fish cook for the event, Tim Baker, said they’re still using some of the equipment from the original Sucker Days for the fish fry.

“Some of these kettles have been around for probably 50 years. So we’re using the same kettles. We’re using propane burners now. Before they had the propane burners they were probably doing it on a campfire, or you know, wood fire for that,” said Baker.

The historical event is a great way to bring the community together. Giddens says as mayor, it’s great to see so many people come to Nixa for such a big event.

“It’s one of the best things you could see as a mayor is see the community come together,” said Giddens. “And seeing everyone out here where they might not know each other and get to meet new people, and have fun with each other, and eat a lot of great food, that always makes people happy.”

Baker says it’s great for everyone who comes out as well to be a part of a piece of Nixa history.

“Oh, it’s great to be part of the community. To do something that, to carry on a tradition that the old-times from Nixa put together and put a lot of their efforts into and had a lot of fun doing that. So it’s good to be able to carry that forward,” said Baker.

Sucker Days runs through 6 p.m. on Sunday. There’s plenty more to go out and enjoy with the whole family. To see a full list of what is going on, you can visit here.

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