The ‘senior breakers’ have arrived

Sigrid J. Aeschleman

The snowbirds have landed. Monday found the line of snowbirds waiting to register at the Roost in the Destin Community Center wound through the building, out the door, and down the sidewalk. Had the line been stretched out, the last person could have ordered a Whataburger and fries. In spite of the length of the line, the wait was only 15-20 minutes to the first station where the cards were filled out. 

Nine hundred sixty-six people were registered in the span of two hours for a total of 1,292 as of Monday afternoon. This was due to the organization of the planning committee and the leadership of Linda Zukonik, registration chairperson. Many workers helped the arriving snowbirds find their way and at the conclusion of their journey, they were rewarded with the “Food Room” where four local vendors shared samples of their treats.

Much to the delight of the people who waited in the short line, the new members found a variety of foods. The Crab Trap distributed their famous gumbo, Jim ‘N Nick’s delighted everyone with their cheese muffins, 790 on the Gulf brought warm bread pudding and Bubba Gump shared shrimp and vegetable skewers. Thank you to our vendors who graciously took the time to welcome the snowbirds back.

David Hall entertained the large snowbird crowds at both meetings on Tuesday and had both groups up and swinging to “Sweet Caroline.” An estimated crowd of 600 members was present at each meeting and President Nancy Hewitt welcomed the membership to the 2014-15 season. The executive board and their spouses were introduced and both the Canadian and American National Anthems were sung.

Numerous activities are taking place now that the largest influx of “breakers” have arrived. Last call for New Orleans: The trip to New Orleans, scheduled for Feb. 11-13 is in danger of being cancelled. The bus trip, which includes two nights at the Holiday Inn Superdome, two parades Wednesday night and four parades Thursday night MUST be confirmed no later than noon on Sunday. If, at this reading, you want to go, call Don Cooksey at 850-837-3637 immediately. If we don’t have the numbers by noon on the 11th, we will cancel the trip.

The big registration gave people the opportunity to sign up for the various activities that will be taking place over the next two months. Tickets for many events must be sold in advance, so please read ahead to find out which ones you need to plan on purchasing. The first TGIT (Thank Goodness It’s Tuesday) Party will be held Jan. 20 at the Seascape Conference Center from 3-6 p.m.  Tickets may be purchased in advance from George and Barbara Olson. Crystal Gage will provide the entertainment.

The Mixer Party, “Happy Days,” will be held Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Seascape Conference Center with Beauty and the Beats providing the entertainment.  Tickets may be purchased from David Douglas.

The first Harbor Boat Party Cruise being held on Jan. 26, is sold out. Tickets for the February cruise on Feb. 9 will be sold at the first February meeting of the Destin Snowbird Club on Feb. 3.

The Soundsations Concert will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 15 at NWF State College in the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville. Tickets are on sale at all meetings and at the Destin Community Center during the week.  Proceeds from this event are given back to the college.

The Fashion Show, held at the newly renovated Embassy Suites in Miramar Beach on Feb. 23, will feature clothes by CHICO’S. Tickets for the event are $28 and can be purchased from Mary Ellen Franklin at the meetings.

The next registration will be held on Monday, Jan. 12, at the Community Center from 2-4 p.m. If you have not yet registered, please come to this event so that we can get you signed up. Registrations will then be held before each meeting on Jan. 20, 27, Feb. 3 and 10 from 7:30-8:15 a.m. and 10-10:45 a.m.

Storage lockers are available for pick-up of items on Saturday, Jan. 17, from 8-9:00 a.m. If you have not yet picked up your items, this is the time to do it.

Many activities are available to club members during their stay on the Emerald Coast. Check online at for updated activities, dates, times, schedules, articles and pictures concerning the club. 

The Friendship Club for singles will meet for lunch on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Other dates will be Jan. 20 at Miller’s Destin Ale House and Jan. 27 at Harbor Docks.

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