‘Come enjoy it’: City of New Braunfels, outfitters prepare for Memorial Day river crowds

City is a popular destination for those hoping to splash into summer

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and thousands plan to cool off by spending a few hours in the river.

The city of New Braunfels is a popular destination for those hoping to splash into summer.

“Yellow tube, your tube, it doesn’t matter,” said Shane Wolf, director of Landa Falls. “We’ve got an opportunity either way.”

Outfitters like Wolf are preparing for the summer wave of visitors.

“Everybody’s excited to get back on the river,” said Stacy Thigpen with Paddle Texas. “We are expecting crowds like we haven’t seen before with our big increase in population.”

It’s why the city of New Braunfels wants visitors to plan ahead.

“We anticipate it to be very busy, as usual,” said New Braunfels Police’s Captain of Operations, Michael Penshorn. “Lots of visitors, lots of tourists, lots of people tubing on the rivers.”

The city has ordinances in place to keep the river clean and to keep people safe.

Chad Donegan, New Braunfels Director of Parks and Recreation, said the city is closing the tube shoot at 7 p.m. on weekends.

“That’s when our operations stop,” said Donegan. “And that was an area that we have had some issues from in the past.”

Donegan said that isn’t impacting outfitters like Thigpen, who’s excited to take advantage of the moonlight with light-up paddle boards.

“It’s amazing to see the smiles, changes in the tone of voice, just how much people are more relaxed and more in tune when they get off the river at night,” he said.

Despite the lack of rain filling the river, outfitters said they aren’t letting it drain the fun.

“Come enjoy it,” said Wolf. “Treat it as if it is your own from that point. Mother nature’s blessed us, and we hope to get back.”

About the Authors

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.

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