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Snowbird season cranking up in South Mississippi

The snowbirds have been arriving on the Coast some as early as November to escape the harsh winter conditions in the north.
Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 9:54 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2022 at 10:19 PM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Snowbird season has arrived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the snowbirds have landed. For the few months they escape the winter here, these northerners call our home, their home as well.

And that means tourism really is a year-round season. A sure sign: RV parks are packed up.

Snowbirds make up the majority of sites. And that makes Tyler Moffett, owner of Southern Comfort Camping Resort in Biloxi, really happy.

“It’s very important to us,” he said. “It’s very vital every year. We count on these return customers. Many of these people coming here for 20-plus years and it’s a great influx every year. It’s kind of downtime, not having so many summer holidays, vacations. So, we really do count on their business every year.”

For Roy Griffith of Virginia, it means you can do what you want, any time you want.

“We’re retired from CSX Railroad after 42 years,” he said. “So, we’re just enjoying life now.”

Theo Kindred of Illinois loves the camping community here.

“They’re all friendly,” he said. “I mean, when I camp, I haven’t found any really rude people camping. They all seem to have a good attitude.”

And coming to the Coast has a big benefit.

“The beach,” Kindred said. “That’s why we’re here. Walk the beach every day we can.”

And so do fellow Illinois residents, Cathy and Jan Daniels and this little cold snap is nothing to these winter warriors.

“We love the four P’s that you guys have to watch out four when it gets cold,” Cathy said. “We don’t need those reminders up north.”

They said they’ve created a bond on the Mississippi Coast with other snowbirds.

“We travel by ourselves, but when we come down here, it’s coming back to family,” she added. “There’s kind of the same group of people that congregate at the campground. And, you get to know everybody and it’s just family. It’s like coming home.”

Their home for four months is the Cajun RV Park in Biloxi.

That’s where you’ll find the ROMEO club, which stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out.

And it’s a sweet deal.

“If you go to the ROMEO lunch, you get $5 through the campground here,” he said. “So, you kind of get paid to go to lunch.”

It’s made a return guest out of Mike Nieboer of Michigan.

“We go out to lunch and socialize with each other,” he said. “I made a lot of new friends here and planning on coming back.”

William Gatti of Indiana also likes the Coast cuisine, and his location puts him in the right spot.

“It’s close to everything,” he said. “We go out and eat all the time around here. In fact, my wife doesn’t hardly even cook anymore. If I don’t cook on the grill, we go out to eat because the food here’s great.”

Most of the snow birds we spoke with come around December, and they usually head “back” north around April.

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