GRUENE, Texas -- The Fourth of July holiday weekend is one of the busiest for tubers who come to the Guadalupe River in Gruene. And despite the can ban, the river continues to attract tubers like a magnet.
For businesses like Rockin' R River Rides in New Braunfels, it's like Christmas in July. General Manager Shane Wolf is pleased to see tubing's popularity.
"I think it's almost a national landmark, at least, for us Texans to say the least. And we got people coming from California and New York, even to come test the waters for that matter. With two rivers here in town in New Braunfels and everything else New Braunfels has to offer, it's a place to be,” said Wolf.
Whether it's your first or 50th time, tubing is still exciting.
"I wouldn't want to spend it anywhere else,” said Casey Gaspard, who was visiting New Braunfels from Spring, Texas. She’s been coming here since she was little.
Luis Blanco and his family are newcomers to the Guadalupe River.
"We're originally from South Florida, and just a lot of people have told us about coming to tube here in the Guadalupe River, so we're excited to do it,” he said.
"This is my second time probably doing this but I never really went tubing. I did it on a canoe, but I think it's gonna be awesome,” said his nephew Diego.
Mario Ortiz and his brother Angel are visiting from Houston. The fact that it was the Fourth of July holiday weekend made it even more special.
"Enjoying our independence, man...being free. Being able to bond, I guess, with everybody on the river. Live the American Dream," remarked Mario.
“It's very enjoyable. I mean, families out here and I like the day. Today's a very beautiful day,” said Angel.
For Madison Blanco, it's about catching up with relatives.
"I'm really excited, and I'm just happy that I get to spend time with my family, 'cause I don't really get to see them that often, so I'm happy that they're all here,” she said.
You don't have to go tubing to enjoy the river. Mike Nelson chose a kayak instead.
"We love paddling, enjoying the water - that's just part of New Braunfels," he said.
The Fourth of July and the long weekend bring many things and traditions to mind. One of them is honoring our country. Another is celebrating by tubing down the river.