We have built it, and they have come! The Destin Snowbirds flocked to the Community Center twice this past week. An exciting year began on Monday with record 1,009 registrations. Thank-you to acting registrar, Evelyn Lemire, Ken Yee on the microphone directing the crowd, John Testa for overseeing Hall security and Paul Hewitt for organizing the sponsoring restaurants, Floyd's Shrimp House, The Back Porch, Fisherman's Wharf, 790 On-the Gulf, Poppy's Time Out Sports Bar, and Hooters in the “Food Room”. Many activities chairpersons were also on hand to greet the new arrivals.

Tuesday the hall was filled twice, 8:30 and 11a.m., with members, anxious to start the new year. David Hall started the entertainment schedule in great style, with excellent audience participation. Sponsoring vendors jammed the back of the room, anxious to attract the returning birds to their businesses. All activities are up and running. Members are encouraged to refer to the activity sheet, or the web site www.destinsnowbirds.org for times and locations.

Attention is now focused on the special events and activities planned for the busy season. The annual Harbor Cruise aboard the Southern Star sold out quickly at Monday's registration. Ticket sales are also brisk for The Country Hoedown Mixer Party, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26. Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. is the time for Soundsations at the Mattie Kelly Fine Arts Center Niceville. Tickets for this event are available through the club to all members of the community. Another popular event, The Valentine's Fashion Show will be held Feb.14 featuring styles from Coldwater Creek. Members are reminded that club ticket sales are located on the tables directly in front of the stage, before the 8:30 a.m. meeting, and between the meetings. Attendees at the second meeting need to visit this area prior 11 a.m.

The golfing coordinators have arrived in Destin. Mike Krueger welcomed several of the area courses to the Big Registration Day. As well as special play-day rates at these courses, Mike is in charge of ticket sales for the annual Jack Cline/Lise Walsh memorial cancer play-day. The event is Feb. 27 at Bluewater Bay and this year the $50 entry fee will include lunch as well as supporting the American Cancer Society. Mike will be up front with the other club events. The Ladies Golf Tournament will also be at Bluewater Bay, one week earlier on Feb. 20. Penny Eddy is selling the tickets for this fun scramble — $40 for golf, cash prizes, and lunch.

The storage locker will be open Saturday, Jan.7, from 8-9 a.m. for the final time this season. Members who arrive later in the month may call Jim Galea at 665-5342 to retrieve their belongings.

Monday, Jan. 14, registration will take place in the small break-out rooms of the Community Center from 1-3 p.m. At the regular Tuesday meetings next week, the sounds of barbershop harmony will fill the air as we listen to the Emerald Coast Chorus, at 8:30 and 11 a.m. Following the second meeting, the Friendship Club will meet for luncheon at Chili's.

Back by popular demand, Jan. 15 is the first of three scheduled TGIT (thank goodness its Tuesday) gatherings of the season. From 3-6 p.m. members will listen to the music of JW Adams at the Seascape Conference Center. Cover charge is $5 and tickets will be sold at the door.

Nancy Hewitt, publicity director, can be reached at pnatthebeach@gmail.com.