City officials have finalized plans for the sixth annual Snowbird Day, introducing seasonal visitors to discovering a part of America's hidden history in the heart of the DeFuniak Springs historic district. Visitors staying the winter season in Walton and surrounding counties are honored with a complimentary light lunch and tours Thursday, Jan. 18.
"We have a lot of special activities in place to welcome our guests," says Mayor Bob Campbell. "It is our honor to introduce our visitors to a piece of America’s hidden history involving presidents, first ladies, American poets, songwriters and even astronauts."
The first 140 Snowbirds who RSVP will be provided a complimentary light lunch at Tropicana Club fine dining restaurant in DeFuniak Springs beginning at 11 a.m., followed by welcoming remarks at 11:30 by Mayor Campbell, City Manager Danny Lucas and Event Coordinator Sandy McCullough followed by a brief historical overview of the Florida Chautauqua grounds by DeFuniak Springs Visitors Bureau Executive Director Christopher Mitchell.
Live music and door prizes from area businesses will complement the luncheon. Guided tours of the Historic Downtown Business District and original grounds of the Florida Chautauqua campus begin at noon and last until 3 p.m. and include presentations inside the historic train depot which houses the Walton Heritage Museum, DeFuniak Springs Library displaying medieval armor, and St. Agatha's Episcopal Church. Tour guides will explain the history of these buildings and surrounding homes as they relate to the Florida Chautauqua grounds once marketed as the "Education Resort of the South."
Winter visitors to the region who wish to participate with a complimentary light lunch at the Tropicana Club are encouraged to RSVP by calling Lisa Gierlinski at DeFuniak City Hall at 850- 892-8500, ext. 224 or the DeFuniak Springs Visitors Bureau at 850-333-2241. RSVPs are not required for tours beginning at noon but are highly recommended to secure a seat for the complimentary light lunch beginning at 11 a.m.
For additional information, contact Event Coordinator Sandy McCullough at 706-968-2928.