Tourism in the Burg


Ella Grandjean

Whether you’re a local in Fredericksburg, a native to the Hill Country, or just passing through, Fredericksburg definitely is the hot spot of the South for tourists to come and visit. Some might even say we are turning into another Napa or Bourbon Street. No doubt people are filtering through for the shopping, or for the recently popular wine tours, but it doesn’t change the fact that tourism in The Burg has ramped up quite frequently in the past decade. Yes, we who live here complain about the impending tourists. You know, that comment you make in your car about out-of-state license plates and jaywalkers? That’s understandable, we all do it. But, let’s be honest, would the German town of Fredericksburg still be the town it is today without the teens who work on main influencing the economy via our pesky tourists? Probably not.

Tourism in Fredericksburg can be problematic, especially when we have events in town and we all simultaneously avoid it. (backroads around main can really be a lifesaver can’t they?) Yet these events that inevitably attract tourists, like The Gillespie County Fair, the shopping on the historic main, or all the surrounding wineries boost the revenue in our economy.

Mostly teens work on main. You don’t need a statistic for that. Adults and store owners work too, but you most often see teenagers. Tourism in Fredericksburg isn’t just about the snide comments and a packed town.

We as teens at FHS, are submerged in the tourism atmosphere. Whether you work at Barefoot, Loca, Parts Unknown, or even a winery, tourists are tourists and it’s always swarmed with them everywhere. For us, working the register or being out on the floor seems harmless but it’s actually a rough and awkward job to cater to tourists. As teens, we contribute a lot to this community and don’t get enough credit for it.

If you’re from around here, you probably have some interesting stories from your job, whether from drunken accidents, the questionable parades of bridesmaids or the wanna-be cowboys who occasionally stroll in. We’ve seen enough. Along with the always popular women’s felt hats, the people who linger when you’re ready to close, and the nasty people who relieve themselves on the sidewalk. There is a never-ending list of stories to tell.

Working on main is a challenge because of our tourists here in The Burg. Especially with this summer approaching after COVID-19, get ready teens, because the pests are about to flood our town. However, perhaps the continuation of these incoming pests is actually giving us chances to experience more events in our lives.

Maybe tourists aren’t the worst thing here in good ole Fredericksburg. Even though most of the time locals do come second. Yes, they can be a nuisance, but looking deeper beyond our first thoughts makes us realize that tourism here isn’t just the definition of a busy town. So next time you think about making that snarky comment or rolling down the car window to yell in rage, remember that everyone is a tourist somewhere, at some point. Tourism is just a small piece of who we are in this little German town. We are so much more than these jaywalkers. To be honest, all these incidents are giving us as teens and employees the chance to say, “WOW, we’ve really seen it all.”