The V-shaped flight pattern of geese heading south for the winter has become a symbolic image of frigid weather approaching. A similar phenomenon takes place with humans as thousands of Northerners flock to South Mississippi seeking refuge from the blistering Yankee cold.
“It’s been going on as long as I’ve been involved with condominiums,” said Susan Speed, reservation agent with Biloxi Beach Resort.
Speed said beginning Nov. 15, people start to arrive for one- to four-month stays.
“Some people make a vacation of it,” she said. “Others bring everything they need and basically move down here.”
Janet and Ray Varis chose the Coast as their landing spot for their third year of migrating.
“It’s about -30 degrees in Canada right now,” Ray said. “So this is about as good as it gets.”
Ray and his wife drove a motor home to Cajun RV Park from their home in Manitoba for a month-long stay. Then they’ll visit family in Florida.
“I don’t have a snow shovel in my hand,” he said, “so I’m happy.”
Varis said 17 years ago, they traveled throughout the entire Gulf Coast, and Biloxi stood out as a place they wanted to come back to.
“We just fell in love with the Coast,” he said, “There is so much to do here.”
Snowbirds from all over the globe are represented every year, said Susan Mikovich with Cajun RV Park. Mikovich said she consistently deals with snowbirds fleeing the freezing temperatures from Michigan, Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, New York and Washington.
“The snowbirds come here because of the weather,” she said. “The coast is reasonably priced, and of course our Southern hospitality.”
Even though we may not be the warmest place to vacation in the winter, the area’s low population density is also a draw for snowbirds, Speed said.
“There’s no traffic, people can move around as they like,” she said.
When asked what their plans were for their Biloxi vacation, Ray Varis smiled and kicked back in his lawn chair, out in the sun.
“That’s the best part,” he said. “We don’t have a plan.”