The Destin Snowboard Club officially kicked off their season with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday for the “Opening of the Roost” at the Destiin Community Center.

DESTIN – The Destin Snowbirds are officially back in town – and if you don’t quite understand what that means yet, just ask a local business owner.


The Destin Snowbirds Club kicked off the new season on Monday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and “Opening of the Roost” at the Destin Community Center. The ceremony marks the beginning of three months packed with activities for the group of retirees who flock to the Emerald Coast every year.


“You all come back every year because you love it here, and we love having you,” Destin City Councilman Skip Overdier said in his opening remarks to club members. “We get to know you and some of you become our best friends, and our local businesses thrive off having you here this time of year.”


The bulk of the Destin snowbirds don’t show up until after the holidays. In January, it’s not uncommon for a pair of weekly meetings to draw a total of close to 1,000 members.


Monday was also the official beginning of new President Ted Spring’s one-year term as president of the Destin Snowbird Club.


“Today is a good opportunity to get to know the Snowbirds,” said Spring, who is from upstate New York. “For the next few months, we get kind of a slow start … but in January, we start to crank things up and we’ll have two meetings on Tuesdays that draw about 500 at each meeting.


“I think people come here because they enjoy all the activities we have to participate in, but most importantly they’re here because of the connectivity, of getting to know one another. That connection between people is what really makes this organization spin.”


The club’s 2019-20 event calendar is jam-packed with weekly activities like basketball, billiards, bowling, tennis, golf, pickleball and poker, along with semi-regular events like the TGIT dances — which stands for Thank God It’s Tuesday.


There’s also the casino trip that includes an overnight stay in Biloxi after a day in New Orleans, the Valentine’s Day Dance and the Christmas Boat Parade on Dec. 15 with a group dinner at Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer.


“I want to just welcome all the snowbirds back,” said Destin Mayor Gary Jarvis. “I just spent a few days in Newcastle, New Hampshire, so I understand how good it feels to be here.”


There are still plenty of opportunities to join the Destin Snowbirds, which has approximately 2,300 members. Six more registration dates are scheduled over the next few months: Dec. 2 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), Dec. 9 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), Jan. 6 (1 p.m.-3 p.m.), Jan. 13 (10 a.m.-noon), Jan. 20 (7:30 a.m.-8:15 a.m., 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.), Jan. 27 (10 a.m.-noon), Feb. 3 (10 a.m.-noon) and Feb. 10 (10 a.m.-noon).