Dinah Keefe

When the weather starts to get nippy and the days shorter, snowbirds from many parts of the Northland start to make their plans for the great migration south, and soon will descend on Walton County. The Walton County Snowbirds organization includes almost 2,000 members (with new ones added every year).

Mark your calendars

Registration starts Monday, Nov. 20, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Faith Assembly Church, 306 S. Geronimo Street in Miramar Beach. Just $10 per person gets you access to a whole season of fun, friendship, special offers and a chance at door prizes. Dozens of activities, most of them free to members, offer something for everyone, including exercise classes, golf, card games, dance lessons, excursions, biking, basketball, crafts and more. But even better are the new friends you’ll make here in your winter nesting place. Full information can be found at waltoncountysnowbirds.com

Other upcoming events

The first general meeting starts at 10 a.m. Dec. 6 at Destin United Methodist Church, 200 Beach Drive in Destin. Randy Gardner, country music singer/songwriter, will provide entertainment. Another registration will be held from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Dec. 4 at Faith Assembly Church.

Meet Our Snowbirds

Walton County Snowbirds come from all over. The colder the climate back home, the more escapees you’re likely to meet here. We’ve had members from as far away as Sweden and Ireland. This year we are featuring some of these interesting and diverse people. To meet more — come join us.

Mike and JoAnne Krueger have been visiting from Indiana for nine years. “We love the beautiful surroundings, the sugar beaches and emerald waters. Because the weather is so mild compared to back home we can be outside much more walking our dogs and not driving in snow and ice," Mike said. "We love the way we are treated, everyone is so friendly, polite and respectful of one another, as well as their environment. We have made many friends who are both snowbirds and locals and refer to them as our Florida family.”

They joined the Walton County Snowbirds four years ago and quickly got involved as volunteers. Mike has served on the Board of Directors and is co-president for the 2017-2018 season. He and JoAnne enjoy the group’s bowling and card activities. JoAnne also manages the coffee bar which helps participants and volunteers wake up with coffee and treats at every registration event.

“Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and we like the diversity of where people are from, you get a chance to expand your world through their experiences. Meeting new people through activities is a good way to do this,” Mike said.

Another way to root deeply into the local scene is to get involved as a volunteer, according to Mike. Currently the snowbirds have a number of openings, and it’s a fun way to meet new people. For full information, contact Mike or other board members. Their contact information is on the WaltonCountySnowbirds.com website.

Dinah Keefe, from St. Paul, Minn., is the Walton County Snowbirds information officer. She can be reached at dinah_keefe@yahoo.com.