It seems word has gotten around Texas about the not-so-teeny the town of New Braunfels. You may hear people talk about the famous Schlitterbahn Park, historic Gruene Hall, or maybe just the fact that it has such a large German heritage that greatly impacts the culture of the city to this day. But if you want to find the best parts of New Braunfels, look for the pieces of town the locals frequent. Here is a list of things that only New Braunfels natives would understand!
1. You wear unicorn shirts with pride, not embarrassment
New Braunfels High School has one of the most unique mascots in Texas: the unicorn. It may confuse tourists to see a man wearing Wranglers, a cowboy hat, work boots, and a white tee shirt sporting the majestic one-horned horse, but to the locals, we see a proud father of a New Braunfels Unicorn.
Image courtesy of www.herald-zeitung.com
2. You go to the river as a common after school or work activity.
When you’re a river city resident, it is essential that you take advantage of the wonderful outdoors right outside your front door. Heading down to one of the launch points and jumping in for a quick float is no uncommon routine. While most visitors make a day out of floating, you just see it as a way to cool off before making dinner.
3. You worked at Schlitterbahn.
If you were a teenager growing up in New Braunfels, then you probably worked at Schlitterbahn. Known to be the world’s number one waterpark, Schlitterbahn is just down the street from most folks. When your parents forced you to get a summer job, this was the perfect place for a compromise: your parents are pleased that you got a job, and you are pleased because you can wear your swimsuit for three months straight!
4. You attend Wurstfest as a family obligation.
Ah, yes. Wurstfest. in New Braunfels, every November is a time reserved to get more familiar with your German roots. The festival means that you see your traditional straight-laced parents and grandparents (here we call them Oma and Opa) cut loose for 10 straight days. On any given night of Wurstfest, you might run into the city councilman, the pastor, or a relative enjoying the sounds and tastes of the rich German culture that founded our great town.
5. You drive down River Road to relax.
That scenic River Road is a well-known place to go think and enjoy the Guadalupe River route. The winding roads and trees will remind you that anything else going on is made easier by living in this place.
6. Your first time drinking cider was at Wassailfest.
When it gets near Christmas time, you would always hear mom and dad talk about warm apple cider. Excited for your first time tasting this mythical drink, they drive you to a place called…Wassailfest. Wassail is the German cider made with spices and everything that is wonderful. With a strong scent of potpourri, it is easy to associate wassail is everything in life being A-OK.
7. You are a proud patron of Naegelin’s Bakery.
It is hard to not have pride in your town when it houses the oldest bakery in Texas and still has lines going to the door. Beginning in 1868, Naegelin’s Bakery has had the time to perfect its nearly 150-year-old recipes for friends and family to enjoy. The town favorite has got to be the Lebkuchen - a thick cookie covered in pink frosting. Located in the center of town on Seguin St, it is hard to pass this place without popping in for a fresh strudel.
8. You know more German names and phrases than most of your friends.
If you accidentally spell “haus” instead of “house”, you might have spent your upbringing in New Braunfels. The name of the city itself, along with its neighboring cities like Fredericksburg and Schertz, are filled with people sporting last names like Deetjen, Schubert, and Faust. You probably also feel more comfortable saying things the German way than the English way...and that is just fine.
9. You are never NOT wearing your swimsuit.
Let’s face it: there is not enough time in the day to worry about changing in and out of your swimsuit. You have grown accustomed to always feeling...well, kind of damp. And you have chosen to not wear socks unless you have to go to work. Being river-ready is a part of who you are, and nobody is complaining.
10. You attend Gruene Hall concerts in shorts and boots.
Adding to the previous reason, no Texan goes to the dance hall without wearing those dancin’ boots! Hopping out of the river, throwing on that old t-shirt you got from Wurstfest, and slipping on the boots as you head over to Gruene Hall to listen to good country tunes is a familiar order of events to you. If you have the dancing skills to spin any lady in the room, nobody is going to talk about what you are wearing!
11. You only think of burgers as "Pat’s Place."
When a friend suggests burgers for lunch, you do not have to ask where they are thinking of eating. Pat’s Place is the go-to spot for New Braunfels natives to get a quick bite and an atmosphere to go along with it.
12. You know that rush hour is actually May-August.
You have been in New Braunfels long enough to know that it is someplace special, and in the summers you have to share your space with people wanting to get a little taste of your life. Tourists are using all of the rental homes on the river, and parking gets a little bit trickier, but you are proud that people would flock to your town to spend their summers.
13. You know that polka dancing is as common as two-stepping.
The music scene in New Braunfels stretches far and wide. From country two-stepping all the way to German polka dancing, you can’t escape the great German culture here for a minute. You have most likely been to a Goodtime Polka and Waltz Club dance to learn your first moves!
14. You attended TBarM for summer camp as a child.
If you were a youngster growing up in the Hill Country, chances are you spent a summer or two at a TBarM camp. With some of the best staff in Texas, you spent the summer on the lake learning how to canoe, rode your first horse, and probably got enough courage to ask your crush to dance. Located off Highway 46, this camp was the perfect place to learn and grow as a budding teenager and was just around the corner from where you live.
Image courtesy of www.tbarmcamps.org
15. You know no greater rivalry match than the Wurst Bowl football game.
The greatest rivalry in the area was none other than New Braunfels High v Canyon High. Since 1976, these two schools have matched up over 100 times to bring the high drama of football to an apex on the field. Dubbing it the “Wurst Bowl” game, the community pays tribute to the Wurst Fest that also occurs in the fall. This was where some fans would sport their genuine unicorn pride with ferocity.
16. You wouldn't want to grow up anywhere else.
Growing up in New Braunfels was an experience unlike any other! This little river city has a piece of your heart, and it will always stay that way.