Armed with foam pool noodles, Joshes from across the United States flocked to Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday to determine who is the country’s top Josh.
It all started last spring, when Josh Swain, an engineering student at the University of Arizona, was bored in quarantine and sent a joking message out to every other Josh Swain he could find on Facebook. He invited them to meet on April 24, 2021, at a random location in Nebraska to decide who is the ultimate Josh Swain. “We fight, whoever wins gets to keep the name, everyone else has to change their name, you have a year to prepare, good luck,” Swain wrote.
His message quickly went viral, and soon, the invitation was extended to anyone named Josh. When Swain realized how many people were actually interested in participating, he began finalizing the details — Swain settled on pool noodles for the fight, picked a new location (the original site was private farmland), and asked participants to donate to the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation in Omaha and bring a nonperishable item to give to a Lincoln food bank.
When Swain arrived at the spot of the event — dubbed the JoshFight — he found about 1,000 people (hundreds of Joshes, plus their fans), with some driving more than 20 hours to get there. “I can’t describe it,” Swain told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s so heartwarming, so incredible. It was a beautiful day.”
About 70 Joshes duked it out in the pool noodle fight, and the title of The Josh – as well as a trophy and crown — went to Josh Vinson Jr., 4, of Lincoln. His dad, Josh Vinson Sr., told the Journal his son had “the time of his life. Everyone was a really good sport.” He wasn’t the only winner — Swain said more than $10,000 has been donated to The Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation and four car loads worth of items were collected for the food drive.