Lip Sync Battle to return for sixth year

Oct. 3—The Owensboro Lip Sync Battle, the primary fundraiser for Puzzle Pieces, will make its return for its sixth year at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Owensboro Convention Center.

A pre-party will also return at 6:30 p.m. inside the lobby of the convention center.

Dr. Jeremy Luckett and Vineyard Primary Care will be the title sponsor for the event, which will be hosted by Chad Benefield and Angel Welsh of WBKR.

Amanda Owen, founder and executive director of Puzzle Pieces, is happy to see this event flourish since its debut in 2018 after she grew fond of the television show of the same title on the Paramount Network (formerly Spike), which the event mirrors.

She recalls the first year came with some nervousness, but she has been able to see it grow as the years have gone on.

"I have never done this type of scale of event before," Owen said. "We did sell out, but we sold out in one small room upstairs at the convention center. Every year, we try to become more of a concert feel, and it definitely has been that."

Since then, the event has moved to the main three halls downstairs of the convention center, and efforts have been made to improve the quality of the overall production, including the lights and sounds.

Owen is still surprised by the success the event has enjoyed.

"I think it's really surreal," she said. "I don't think I've realized the magnitude of the scale-end of what we were putting together until last year when I was cleaning up ... and the sound and lighting guys were loading up and they're like, 'Do you realize that we use just the same equipment, if not more, for this event as we do for a Vanilla Ice concert?' And it's just because the community is there — that's what makes it possible.

"It's just a blessing to have and knowing that this much support goes behind it. ... It gets stronger and bigger every year."

Ten teams will compete in this year's competition with five total battles, with the lineup slated to be announced at the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Rooster Booster Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 6 at the convention center.

There will also be a battle between two former Lip Sync Battle champions.

"This year is definitely a great lineup that's not to be expected," Owen said.

Owen said the event is "the lifeline" to help support people with disabilities any way Puzzle Pieces can.

"...(The event) is to help support our operating budget," she said. "Without Lip Sync Battle, we would have never survived even through COVID. It gives us the ability to pay bills to continue to expand our (resources). ...Every year, even with the last six years, with the funding from the Lip Sync Battle, it allows us to push the envelope even more to serve more."

Over the past six years, Owen said the funds have been able to help the organization serve more clients — from 120 in 2018 to almost 400 clients currently.

"It's about sustaining while also ... sustaining and building it out," she said. "It really allows us to level ourselves up."

And while the event is to help raise money, Owen started the event to serve another purpose.

"I didn't want to be just a fundraiser," she said. "I wanted it to be an event that I would want to attend, and that's kind of how I approached it. I wanted it to be something that anybody in Owensboro could go out for a night of fun and see people they know and be entertained."

Tickets will be on sale starting Tuesday, Nov. 1.

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