News and Updates


Houstonfest Scholarships - winners posted!


Scholarships at State


Special Rules and Procedures for the 2021 Remote Contest


Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


Tips for Pair Discussion


Photo Gallery 2014


Arrival at Heights High School


Lunch options


Plays will be performed at Houstonfest


Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list



Important Dates


Sat., Mar. 6, 2021 State online awards ceremony posted. Also, Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


Fri., Mar. 12, 2021:  Gail Cope Scholarship applications due.


Fri., April 30, 2021:  Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications due.


The rest of this will be updated for 2022 some time soon:


Sat., Jan. 16, 2021:  Regular deadline to submit registration spreadsheet in order to pay regular price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/25).


Mon., Jan. 25, 2021:  Final deadline to submit registration spreadsheet for late price of $12/student and deadline to postmark payment.


Wed., Feb. 3, 2021, 8:00 p.m.Deadline to submit changes (adds, drops, substitutions). After this point, no more additions or substitutions will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 6, 2021 Houstonfest (100% remote): some events conducted "live" (online) that day, all others submitted digitally by 9:00 a.m.


Thur., Feb. 11, 2021 Houstonfest online awards show emailed to teachers.


Wed., Feb. 17, 2021:  State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. for "early bird" price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed yet). Also, deadline to apply for the Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship.


Mon., Feb. 22, 2021:  State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. at regular price of $12/student. Also, entries for promotional video contest due to State director Jennifer Christianson by 8:00 p.m. and deadline to postmark payment.


Sat., Feb. 27, 2021:  Texas State German Contest (100% remote): some events conducted "live" (online) that day, all others submitted digitally by 9:00 a.m.



Founded in 1980, Houstonfest is an annual competition for Houston-area students in grades 8 through 12 who are learning German.  It offers 44 contests for students in German I, II, III, IV, and V, including written and oral tests, declamation, drama, art, and music.  There are also categories for "advantaged speakers."  Registration is accepted only from German teachers registering their participating students as a group; we do not accept registration from individual students.  For the 2020 contest we had 562 students registered from 21 schools.  For this year's scaled-down contest, we had 166 students from 12 schools.  Teachers and others from the local German-speaking community serve as judges.  If you are interested in serving as a judge, contact director Rustin Buck by email and he'll add you to his email list.


Entrants placing in the top five in each event at Houstonfest, traditionally held on the first Saturday of February (which was February 6 in 2021), advance to the Texas State German Contest, traditionally held on the last Saturday of February (which was February 27 in 2021).  At State, Houstonfest's winners compete against the winners of the other two Texas regional German competitions, Winterfest for the Dallas and North Texas area and Sprachfest for the Central and South Texas area.


Normally, Houstonfest is held at Heights High School in Houston and State at Texas State University in San Marcos.  However, due to the uncertainties and risks created by COVID-19, all three regional contests and the State contest were conducted remotely and with fewer events in 2021.  Some events were conducted live (but online) on contest day, and for the other events, contestants submitted their entries digitally by contest day.  Judging was done remotely over several days, and the results were announced online about a week later.


Brochure about Texas German contest system

(does not reflect the temporary changes for 2021)


Incentives for schools new to Houstonfest


Show your love for the Texas German contest system by producing a promotional video and entering our contest.  You could win $250!  Click here for the contest guidelines.


In "normal" years, after competition is over and while everyone is waiting for the awards to be tabulated, we have entertainment by the band Das ist lustig and members of the folk dance group Keine Kunst.  The Tomball German Festival also traditionally invites winning Chorus, Folk Dance, and Polka Band groups as well as Vocal Soloists to perform at their festival each year and makes donations to the German Clubs of all schools that perform.  As 2021 will not be a normal year, unfortunately none of that will happen this year.

















The logo in the header is the

winning entry from the

Digital Logo Design

contest held at Houstonfest 2020.  It is by Dawson Benner, William Lee,

Sinan Makdisi, and Jimmy Xin of Bellaire High School.


Danke schön

to these businesses who donated or gave us discounts on items for the judges' breakfast in 2020. Every dollar saved on that can instead be invested in the contest and in scholarships!



SW Freeway @ Wilcrest

(donated ALL the coffee!)

Image result for starbucks logo


Sugar Land

(donated ALL the fruit!)

Welcome to Sprouts Farmers Market


Kolache Factory

Missouri City

(discount on kolache order)

Image result for kolache factory logo


Shipley Donuts

(discount on donut order)

Image result for shipley donut




When is the next Houstonfest?



February 5, 2022


Where is Houstonfest?


Due to COVID-19, the 2021 contest was conducted entirely REMOTELY. We hope to be back at our usual venue, Heights High School in Houston, in 2022.


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook