DESTIN SNOWBIRD CLUB: Flock celebrates 25 years at The Roost

Mary Pierce
The Destin Community on Stahlman Ave. has been a “Roost” for the Destin Snowbird Club for the past 25 years.

This year marks a quarter century that the Destin snowbirds have roosted at the Destin Community Center.

The welcoming hospitality received has always been greatly appreciated. Lisa Firth, who is now Destin’s Parks and Recreation director, has been an administrator extraordinaire and a problem solver for many of those years, and she continues to attend to any and all of our concerns.

As snowbirds enter the Roost, they are greeted by the friendly smile of the Destin Community Center’s customer service representative Ivy Slaton.

We arrive each Tuesday morning to find chairs set up for our comfort and tables set up for our vendors, and we know that they all need to be taken down and put away before all the afterschool activities begin. Lead maintenance technician Teresa Howard and her crew not only take care of the seating, but they brew both regular and decaffeinated coffee to offer with a variety of delicious donuts for our pleasure at a minimal price.

Destin Community Center’s lead recreation program coordinator, Travis Baily, attends to the nourishment needs of the snowbirds as they gather for their weekly Tuesday morning meetings.

These last few weeks, snowbirds entering the roost have been enchanted by a beautiful display of holiday splendor. In the center of the lobby is an elegantly decorated Christmas tree that has to be at least 12 to 15 feet tall. A large Frosty the Snowman stands guard over Santa’s mailbox, which is decorated in festive red and greens. It’s impossible not to feel the holiday spirit while there.

The snowbirds are happy, but not surprised to learn that their favorite safety officer has been promoted. Congratulations to “Sergeant” Corbitt.

Deputy Corbitt is now Sergeant Corbitt (congratulations!), so I guess that means we are even safer than before, as he guards our entryway. We are aware of and appreciate every detail of the Community Center’s good will toward us. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention just how sterile and clean the center is, especially the restrooms. We do notice, and we thank you all. 

While I am handing out kudos, I would like to give a special shout out to our Nov. 30 entertainer, Bobby D. Bobby was not on the schedule that morning, but when he heard that the scheduled performer was ill, he didn’t hesitate to help us out. Bobby has been a snowbird favorite for many years. He can do everything from Elvis rock-and-roll to Johnny Cash country, and everything in between. He is especially talented with our theme song, “Sweet Caroline.” If you missed him, you are still in luck. He will be our meeting entertainment again on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. He will also perform at the Feb. 15, T.G.I.T. (Thank Goodness it’s Tuesday) party. Additionally, he will be the featured performer on the Harbor Party Boat Cruise scheduled for Monday, Jan. 31.

Whether on a Harbor Party Cruise, at a Tuesday morning meeting or at a T.G.I.T. (Thank Goodness it’s Tuesday) party, Bobby D is a Destin snowbird favorite.

The Destin Christmas Street Parade is Saturday, Dec. 11. A flock of snowbird elves will be following Dean Harper’s decorated pick-up truck while passing out candy to all the little outstretched hands along the way. As I write this, the forecast calls for a slight chance of rain, but temperatures up in the high balmy 70s. Sunday will be the Christmas Boat Parade down on the harbor, and Destin snowbirds will have a front row seat for the excitement on the docks of Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer.

Deb Harper and Tom Franklin prefer the beauty of the Destin Community’s Christmas decorations over the sounds of the snowbird theme song, “Sweet Caroline.” As long-time snowbird members, they feel somewhat over-saturated by the tune.

Monday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon will be the last registration of 2021. The next opportunity to register will be on Monday, Jan. 3, at, what is known as the big registration. That will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. More will be written about that soon.

The last snowbird meeting of 2021 will be Tuesday, Dec. 14. The Craft Show will not take place as originally planned, but Nancy Thiele and her well-known and loved Emerald Coast Community Band will fill the room with the joyful sounds of Christmas, as they have done for over a decade.

The last storage pick-up opportunities in 2021 are Saturday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 18, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. both days. 

Mary Pierce

Mary Pierce, publicity director, is from Toledo, Ohio, and can be reached at 419-250-9377 or