By Claire Hansen
Blog Content Contributor
Some say Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth– but surely those people haven’t been to Wurstfest. If you’re new to San Marcos and don’t know what I’m talking about, Wurstfest is this lovely festival thrown every fall just down the road in New Braunfels, for all beer-drinkers, sausage-eaters, and lederhosen-wearers to gather and celebrate the excitement of German culture. In fact, New Braunfels has been a hotspot for Germans since 1845, after the first Germans settled in the area and named it after the German city of Braunfels. Luckily for us, they continue their traditions over a magical two weekend period in November for everyone to experience. It’s a festival for all ages, so don’t worry about being 21 (you’ll probably save money that way, too). However, it does take some planning, so here’s a few tips on how to do Wurstfest the right way. Get your yodeling voices ready, friends.
One of the trickier things about Wurstfest is the fact that you can’t walk home afterward like you can from The Square. If there’s multiple pitchers of beer involved, driving obviously isn’t the best idea. Uber and Lyft are always an option, of course, but the prices for those can add up when you’re traveling far distances (and let’s not forget about that surge). So, if you can, organize a group and rent a bus! Not only does it lower your risk of getting in an accident, but you get to ride there in the company of your friends and good music, which always adds to the fun. Just be careful not to get left behind on the way back!
Admission to Wurstfest may not be that expensive, but don’t expect to save money once you’re inside the festival. If you’re of age and plan on getting a pitcher or two (or 10), expect to pay more than you normally would, even if it’s just a domestic beer. Everything sold at Wurstfest is paid for with tickets, which you can stand in a long line to buy once you’re there, or you can plan ahead and buy them online! Sounds simple enough, right? Here’s where they get you: You buy tickets in sets of 20, for $1 each. How much does a pitcher of domestic beer cost? 21 tickets. So, even if you only plan on getting one pitcher, you still need to buy $40 worth of tickets, leaving you with 19 left over. The people of Wurstfest are evil geniuses. If you’ve been to Wurstfest before, though, and were clever enough to hang on to your extra tickets, they’ll still be valid, so don’t forget to bring them! They could save you a lot of money. And of course, hold on to the extras from this year, too, because there will inevitably be some.
Sprechen sie fun?
Beer may be one of the primary attractions at this festival, but there’s also a world of other fun festivities to spend those tickets on! Wurstfest proudly hosts an array of exciting German entertainment, involving music, dancing and games. Don’t forget to ride one of the classic carnival rides, either! Inside the “marketplatz”, you can find a series of vendors that are serving up a wide variety of both authentic German food choices and modern-day creations, from pork schnitzel and potato pancakes, to sausage-on-a-stick and “wurstkabobs”, whatever those are. When you’ve had your fill, take a break from all the action and go hang by the river. Walking towards the back of the festival, you’ll approach a downhill slope that leads right to the Comal River, where attendees are free to go and sit along the edge and get a little peace and quiet. If you happen to be with a special someone, or your pitcher of Shiner has made its way into your bloodstream, I will just say that there’s no better place for a first kiss than the river’s edge at Wurstfest. Just in time for mistletoe season, too.
Wurstfest is truly one of the greatest things about living in this area during the fall. It is such a unique event that every Texas State student and San Martian should experience at least once. It can get really chaotic and crowded at times, but even for people like me who don’t like beer or sausage at all, a trip to Wurstfest is always a night to remember.
Featured image by Marie Hogan.