Municipal Utilities Host World’s Largest Human Checkers Game

Placeholder image

KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 22, 9:45 am — In a spin on the popular game played by millions, the Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) and Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) held one of the world’s largest human checkers game on Wednesday, March 21, in downtown Kissimmee.

Using a downtown Kissimmee street, the game featured 24 local dignitaries who were selected as “checkers” — twelve from Kissimmee and twelve from neighboring St. Cloud. The mayors of the respective cities called their moves from utility bucket trucks positioned 30 feet above a giant checkerboard painted on a downtown street.

The tradition of human checkers began 74 years ago in Osceola county. On a Saturday afternoon in 1927, crowds began to gather around a checkerboard at Broadway and Darlington Avenue — the same intersection that was used for Wednesday’s event. Community pride was at stake, and Kissimmee and St. Cloud residents were there to rally support for their towns and to prove their checkerboard champs were up to the challenge.

On Wednesday, Kissimmee Mayor Dr. George Gant rode in a KUA bucket truck, while St. Cloud mayor, Glenn Sangiovanni, rode in an OUC bucket truck. KUA President & General Manager Jim Welsh was a Kissimmee checker. [Note: OUC has a contract with the city of St. Cloud to manage its municipal electric utility.]

In the end, St. Cloud took home the trophy. The human checkers event will become an annual tradition as part of the revitalization of the downtown area.

KUA is Florida‘s 7th largest municipally-owned utility serving 53,000 electric, water and Internet customers in four Central Florida counties. KUA celebrates its 100th year of serving the community in 2001.

Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116