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February 2016 Magazine

After having a fairly mild early winter across the country Mother Nature arrived in a big way toward the end of January with forecasts of record snowfall in many parts of the country. Cold winds blew through here too but soon the sunshine arrived and Snowbirds took up their normal Gulf Coast routines.
We had a busy January with several great expos to attend. The ResortQuest/Fort Walton Beach Winter Guest Fest drew more than 1,500 people. The Pensacola Beach Bash drew several hundred Snowbirds who were able to interact with area businesses and take a trolley tour of the island.
I was happy to run into my dear friend Shelley Waters Johnson. Shelley is the second-generation publisher of the Island Times newspaper on Pensacola Beach. She lent me her ear and offered great advice to “think inside-out” when I launched this publication. She has been an unwavering supporter.
I still remind myself of that advice today – nearly 10 years later – as I approach each Snowbird season. Be sure to pick up a copy of The Island Times when you are in the area.
The biggest increase in attendance is the second-year Navarre Snowbird Social and Business Expo staged at Hidden Creek Golf Course. The crowd overflowed into the parking lot and attendees were treated to numerous door prizes.
This month we will be at the Alabama Lifestyles Expo Feb. 11 at The Caribe Resort in Orange Beach, Ala. This event draws a cross section of vendors from Alabama communities and attractions around the Gulf Coast region.
Also, be sure to read about the great Snowbird fundraisers happening this month. What I’ve known for sure in the decade since I launched this publication is Snowbirds have a positive economic impact on the communities many call their second home. We also profile several downtown communities enjoying a renaissance and encourage you to take a day trip to discover what they have to offer. As always, we showcase the many great entertainment acts in our regular calendar and casino calendar.
As always, we want to welcome you and wish you a great stay here on the coast.
We are glad you are here. Click here to read the latest Snowbirds Gulf Coast Magazine

About editor

Karen Harrell has been publishing Snowbirds Gulf Coast since 2006. Her background includes 10 years as a weekly travel columnist for the Pensacola News Journal where she also contributed sports and feature stories. Snowbirds Gulf Coast targets winter visitors who largely hail from the Midwest and Northeastern areas of the United States and Canada.