Destin Snowbirds: And while the children were nestled all snug in their beds …

Sigrid J. Aeschleman
Sue Long of Ontario soaks up the sunshine and enjoys coffee at Bad Ass Coffee in Miramar Beach.

… the Destin Snowbirds were getting ready for Christmas by celebrating the season in many different ways. The Destin Christmas Parade was the first community event to bring children and adults to the center of Destin for a festive celebration last Saturday.  Snowbirds donned Santa hats, antlers and festive sweatshirts to happily greet the citizens of Destin as they walked the parade route in full sunshine.

The Destin Boat Parade of Lights, held Sunday evening in the harbor, provided an opportunity for the snowbirds (and anyone else) to gather at various locations to view the beautifully decorated boats and fireworks and to spend some time together in a social atmosphere. The Snowbirds met at Crab Island Cantina where the viewing was excellent and participants enjoyed a buffet dinner prepared by the Cantina. New friendships were formed and former acquaintances were renewed at this event and a good time was had by all. The weather cooperated and where else can you watch a Boat Parade of Lights with just a sweater on?

Snowbirds were also presented with the opportunity to participate in a bus trip to Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Ala., on Dec. 16 to view the lighted gardens.  Walking through a “winter wonderland” of lights was a magical experience to all who attended this event.

This week while enjoying the walking path on Scenic 98 in Miramar Beach, I met Sue Long from Ontario who was enjoying the sunshine at Bad Ass Coffee during a respite from her walk on the same path and talked about how she and her husband came to Destin years ago.

“We had a friend who really didn’t like anywhere he went for a vacation, but when he came through Destin he fell in love with it. We decided if it was good enough to make him happy, it must be a good place to go.” They have been returning here for the winter ever since and have been coming here for years. 

The New Year promises to bring new friends, new experiences and plenty of opportunities for good times.  Don’t miss the bus trip to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras parade. Spend two nights, Feb. 11 and 12, at the Holiday Inn Superdome. For more details, contact Don Cooksey at 850-837-3637 soon. Bus seating is limited.

Snowbirds who returned home for the holidays will return after the turn of the New Year along with the majority of snowbirds “flying in” for the season.  Most will be here for the big registration on Jan. 5 from 1-3 p.m. prior to the meetings at 8:30 and 11 a.m. Jan. 6. Watch next week’s paper for more specific details on the registration process.

The Executive Board and members of the Destin Snowbird Club wish everyone on the Emerald Coast a very Merry Christmas next week!

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