Despite the rain Monday, Destin snowbirds converged on the Destin Community Center to register for the upcoming snowbird season and to officially open the Roost. Mayor Sarah Seevers, members of the Destin Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Committee of the Destin Snowbird Club welcomed the crowd of snowbirds that had gathered to be a part of the official opening. President George Olson also welcomed the visitors to the Emerald Coast and cut the ribbon which signified the opening of the Roost. A line of snowbirds formed quickly in the hopes of being amongst the first to officially register for the 2013-14 season. 

At the first registration Monday, 175 members signed up which included 19 new members. This number reflects an increase of 17 members compared to the first registration last year. Other registrations prior to the Christmas holidays will be held from 1-3 p.m. Nov. 25, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 at the Destin Community Center.

Registrants were greeted by the numerous volunteers who arrive in Destin early in order to ensure that the entire snowbird experience runs smoothly and is ready to go upon their arrival in Destin. Drawing the snowbirds into the registration room were the good smells of donuts which were provided by Tuffy’s Auto Center and warm hush puppies which were provided by Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Coffee was also provided and snowbirds were happily renewing old acquaintances and making new connections during the registration process. Thank you to all the volunteers who made the first registration go so smoothly.

Members received a schedule of meetings (21 in all) and a listing of events as they registered. An updated list of all snowbird events and activities can be found at

At the first meeting of the snowbirds on Nov. 26, tickets will be available for the holiday activities which include the Downhome Southern Christmas Dinner on Dec. 11 and the Holiday on the Harbor Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 15. Entertainment at this first meeting will be Kim Cannon, so don’t miss this wonderful musical treat which kicks off the Christmas season of entertainment for the Club. Other seasonal entertainment will be provided by The Niceville High School Chorus at 10 a.m. Dec. 3 and the Emerald Coast Community Band at 10 a.m. Dec. 10, which is also the members’ Craft Show.

The Annual Destin Christmas Parade will take place at 10 a.m. Dec. 14 and the Snowbird Club is looking for volunteers to walk along beside the Snowbird Float.  Contact Paul or Nancy Hewitt at 850-650-3776 if interested in spreading some Christmas cheer!

Welcome back, snowbirds! If you know of someone who doesn’t belong to the club yet, share the information with them and encourage them to join.

Sigrid J. Aeschleman, publicity director, is from Illinois and can be reached at