September 18, 11:30 am – In a spin on the popular game played by millions, Kissimmee Utility
Authority (KUA) and Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) hosted one of the world’s largest
human checkers games in downtown Kissimmee on September 17.
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. A city
commissioner from each 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 76 years ago in Osceola County. On a Saturday
afternoon in 1927, crowds began to gather around a checkerboard at Broadway and Darlington
Avenue. 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
On Wednesday, Kissimmee Commissioner Scott Brooks played from a KUA bucket truck, while St.
Cloud Councilman Wade Davis positioned himself inside an OUC bucket truck. KUA President &
General Manager Jim Welsh and KUA Board Chairman Larry Walter were both “checkers”
representing Kissimmee. In the end, Kissimmee walked away with the championship trophy and
bragging rights for the next year.
The annual human checkers event was revived in 2001 by the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber
of Commerce as part of an effort to revitalize the downtown business district.
Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility serving 61,000
electric, water and Internet customers in five Central Florida counties.
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Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116