On 24 April 2021, in Lincoln, Nebraska, what was once thought to be merely just a meme had become a real event. The “Josh Fight” or “Battle of the Joshes” concluded with 4-year-old Josh Vinson Jr. dubbed “Little Josh” winning the event as the best Josh.
The event also saw a fundraiser held for Children’s Hospital and Medical Care Foundation and a food drive for the Food Bank of Lincoln.
The epic Josh battle began as a result of one Josh’s boredom in the midst of a pandemic. Josh Swain, a 22-year-old college student from Arizona, made a Facebook Messenger group in April last year filled with users also named “Josh Swain” to challenge them to an epic battle royale for the name.
The text read “You’re probably wondering why I’ve gathered you all here today”. Another Josh in the group replied “Because we all share the same names?”
“Precisely,” texted the initiator Josh Swain.
He proceeded to send random coordinates with a date and time for them to meet a year later. Whoever wins will keep the name and everyone else has to change it. However, little was it known to the Arizonian college student that the battle was really going to take place.
As the screenshot of Josh’s conversation became viral on social media, Josh decided to be a man of his word and make it happen. He posted the event details on Reddit with some changes to the initial “plans”.
As the original coordinates were chosen at random and landed on private property at Bowling Lake Park, the venue was set at Air Park nearby instead.
The original fundraiser plans had apparently been to contribute to legal fees to change the losers’ names, which was then later changed to give back to Children’s Hospital and Medical Care Foundation. Participants were also advised to bring non-perishable food items to contribute to the food drive.
Just days before the event, Josh Swain was not sure if anyone would turn up. However, the pool noodle fight saw hundreds of Joshes, for the battle of the best Josh – some of whom were in costume.
Another guy also called Josh Swain came from Omaha, Nebraska came for a rock-paper-scissors fight with the original Josh Swain. Original Josh Swain won and got to keep his name.
In the end, “Little Josh” was crowned “King Josh” with a Burger King paper crown and a miniature wrestling belt. He was then lifted up among the crowd of Joshes and received with loud cheers.
The boy’s father, Josh Vinson Sr., told reporters at the scene that little Josh would remember this for the rest of his life. It was a momentous occasion especially for Little Josh, since this would help the Foundation that has helped treat his seizures since two-years-old.
After it came to an end, Josh Swain tweeted, “Thank you so so much to all the volunteers that helped out and the residents of the great city of Lincoln for being so welcoming and making this event incredible. Still in disbelief at the moment but amazed at the incredible support”.