Josh Battle Take Over Lincoln, Nebraska, Park

Hundreds of people descended on a park in Lincoln, Nebraska, this weekend armed with pool noodles in a fight for the name Josh.

“Whoever wins gets to keep the name, everyone else has to change their name,” said organizer Joshua Swain in a Facebook message invite to people named Josh last year.

The event hosted on Saturday brought Joshes and people not named Josh from all over the US and raised money for the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation in Omaha. People showed up in kilts, dressed as Spartans, and wearing capes to the fight. One person innovated on the weapon of choice by attaching their noodles to drills in order to spin them in battle.

In a Reddit post, Swain, who lived in Arizona, said he was simply bored when he originally made a group chat of all the people on Facebook he could find with the same first and last name as him, then challenged them to a fight for the right to keep the name.

“This was a complete joke, and I have posted jokes to my twitter before, but when I posted the screenshots to my twitter here, the internet ran with it, and ran with enough endurance for you all to remember a YEAR later,” wrote Swain, who didn’t immediately respond to questions from BuzzFeed News. “That doesn’t happen very often, so I’m afraid I have to oblige the internet and trek all the way across the contiguous United States to defend my name.”


Kenneth Ferriera / AP

Josh Swain, left, the originator of the joke, takes on another Josh Swain as they decide the rightful owner of the name via a game of rock, paper, scissors.

In his initial battle invitation, Swain picked coordinates at random, which landed on the land of a farm owner who did not want to host the battle. Swain then chose Air Park Green Area in Lincoln, Nebraska instead and kept the “April 24th, 2021 A.D.” date. He opened the battle up to all Joshes, though he personally challenged another Josh Swain to a game of rock, paper, scissors.

Swain asked attendees to wear masks, as the city of Lincoln still has a mask mandate. Images from the event showed many attendees wearing them.

Ultimately, as Swain said in a tweet that made the battle go viral, there could only be one Josh. The title went to a 4-year-old nicknamed “Little Josh” by the chanting crowd, and he won the fight final with a swing of a red noodle.


Kenneth Ferriera / AP

Lincoln native 4-year-old Joshua Vinson Jr. is lifted into the air after being declared the ultimate Josh.

Shortly after being crowned with a Burger King crown that was too big for his head, Little Josh was hoisted into the air while holding a wrestling champion belt.

His victory was meant to be, his dad, Josh Vinson Sr., told the Lincoln Journal Star. Little Josh suffered from seizures when he was about 2 years old, his father said, and he received treatment at Children’s Hospital, the recipient of Sunday’s fundraising money.

The fundraiser has so far raised $10,625. Attendees also donated about 200 to 300 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Lincoln, the Journal Star reported.

“Please consider donating to show the world how the internet can turn an exercise in absurdity into something beautiful,” Swain wrote in a post for the official event details.

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