News and Updates
Special Rules and Procedures for the 2021 Remote Contest
Scholarships at State
Tips for Pair Discussion
Arrival at Heights High School
Plays will be performed at Houstonfest
Daily log of changes to
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
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.
Sat., Mar. 6, 2021:
State online awards ceremony, time TBA. Also,
Fri., Mar. 12, 2021:
Scholarship applications due.
Fri., April 30, 2021:
Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications due.
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 send you a link to a Google Form
where you can sign up as a judge.
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
State German Contest, traditionally held on the last Saturday of
February (which will be February 27 in 2021). At State, Houstonfest's
winners compete against the winners of the other two Texas regional German competitions,
for the Dallas and North Texas area and
the Central and South Texas area.
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 will be conducted remotely and with fewer events in 2021.
Some events will be conducted live (but online) on contest day, and for
other events, contestants will submit their entries digitally by contest
day. Judging will be done remotely over several days, and the
results will be announced online as soon as possible after contest
(likely about a week later).
Brochure about Texas German contest system
(does not reflect the temporary changes for 2021)
for schools new to Houstonfest
Back again in 2021: 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.
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.
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!)
(donated ALL the fruit!)
(discount on kolache order)
(discount on donut order)
When is the next Houstonfest?
February 5, 2022
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
State German Contest on Facebook