It was a northern winter wonderland complete with falling snow outside Smokin’ J’s Real Texas BBQ on Gulfport Boulevard on Monday, December 17 from about 6 to 7:30 p.m. Owner John Riesebeck, center, even got to practice making a large snowball from the accumulation with air temperatures at 57 degrees. “It’s for fun. I’ve never done the snow making before,” he said. “We decorate every year and it’s my wife’s favorite holiday. I like to keep her happy.” Riesebeck borrowed snow machines from Salty’s Gulfport Bar to give his display “a little extra zip of holiday cheer,” he said. “This gives it the effect that it’s really snowing.” His business is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but that didn’t deter people from pulling into the parking lot to watch. They also “look over in amazement” while stopped at the nearby red traffic light, said Riesebeck, laughing. The snow machines last about 10-15 minutes before they need to be refilled, he said. He’s not planning to run the machines during business hours because the “snow” could get in people’s food. But, on Christmas Day, he will be hosting his family’s party “so, maybe we’ll do something crazy that day.”
“We try to add two blow-up decorations every year,” said Riesebeck, referring to the display he has on the outside of his business located on the roof of the main building and in the picnic table seating area on the ground and on top of the pergola. “My grandson is into the PAW Patrol, so that inflatable is his addition.” On Monday, December 17, Riesebeck added falling snow for the first time and was all smiles.