Aerial photo of Nixa Sucker Days
Thousands of people come to Main Street in Nixa to attend Sucker Days in May. (Photo by Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce)

To read this story, please sign in with your email address and password.

You've read all your free stories this month. Subscribe now and unlock unlimited access to our stories, exclusive subscriber content, additional newsletters, invitations to special events, and more.


If you’re looking for free family fun, put Nixa Sucker Days on your list.

There’s no admission to attend and enjoy the live entertainment taking place throughout the event May 17-19 in downtown Nixa.

Along with music, Nixa Sucker Days includes vendors selling their wares, art and craft booths, food, a beer garden and rides. 

Wristbands for unlimited rides for kids and adults can be purchased for $10 at the event. The wristbands are for the entire event and include pony rides, a petting zoo and a mechanical bull.

Other activities include the parade that begins at 6 p.m. May 17 and the annual Sucker Toss Cornhole Tournament. Cash and other prizes will be awarded in social and advanced brackets. Cornhole registration is $50 and can be done in advance or at the event.

People walk down a street lined with tents and food trucks
Arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, games and more take over Main Street in Nixa for Sucker Days. (Photo by Delores Albers Photography)

How Sucker Days got started

A man wearing a hat covered in buttons and a yellow shirt reading "I'm a sucker lover"
Finis Gold, a Nixa barber, is credited with helping start Sucker Days. The first official event was held in 1957. (Photo: Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce)

Finis Gold, a barber-turned-politician, started Nixa Sucker Days in 1957 as a fish fry to gather the community and celebrate the bounty of fish caught by local anglers who enjoyed “grabbin’” for suckers.

Grabbing is a method of fishing where fish are snagged out of the water with a hook rather than bait fishing, where fish are hooked in the mouth. Be sure to check the Missouri Department of Conservation fishing regulations before you try grabbing. 

While the plated sucker fish dinner is no longer an option, sucker fish samples are available while supplies last beginning at noon Saturday, May 18. The Christian County Historical Society will help serve the fish and accept donations for the county museum. 

For more information, visit

Susan Wade

Susan Wade’s career includes nine years at the News-Leader in Springfield where she covered various topics, including Christian County, Greene County, higher education and many others. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations and journalism and a master’s degree in communications from Missouri State University. She is a lifelong resident of southwest Missouri. Email her at More by Susan Wade