Flocked and loaded: Snowbirds land in Destin in droves

Richard Stedman of St. Paul, Minn., braved the crowds to get his blue card. He and his wife have been visiting Destin for 11 years. "It's a good time to be here," he said. "Anything's warmer than Minnesota."

The Destin Community Center was packed Monday afternoon as flocks of snowbirds visited to register in the Destin Snowbird Club.

"This is the big one," said Sigrid Aeschleman, publicity director for the Destin Snowbird Club.

As of Monday afternoon there were 340 registered members, but at the end of the day Aeschleman reported a 1,000 memberships were registered at the end of the day.  

Snowbirds interested in registering have to sign up in person at the Destin Community Center. Dues are $8 per person per season. There are several sign-up dates from January to February. The next one is January 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information, visit

"We encourage everyone to join," Aeschleman said. "We offer poker, bowling, golfing, boat cruises — just to name a few. It's a great networking tool and a way to meet new people."