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.

Sweepstakes and Other Awards


Below are the sweepstakes rules for Houstonfest is a non-pandemic year.  To preserve a record of the normal rules, the alterations to the point system for the 2021 remote contest will not be reflected in the table below.


For 2021, the following changes will be in effect:

  • Many contests on the list will not be offered at all. Contests offered in 2021 are in bold in the table below.
  • Contemporary Music will move down to the 4th tier (1st place = 12 points) for 2021 only to put it on par with Vocal Solo, since for 2021 only one performer will be allowed per Contemporary Music entry.
  • There will be only a "Poetry" contest and a "Prose" contest rather than the usual separate contests for Memory and Reading.  The Poetry and Prose contests will be assigned to the 4th tier for 2021 (1st place = 12 points).


Besides the awards given in the various contests, we award a number of comprehensive prizes.


Sweepstakes:  Schools receive sweepstakes points for each event in which they place in the top 10 (see table below). Schools are classified as "Large Schools" or "Small Schools" based on how many students are enrolled in German classes at the school. For 2021, schools with 85 or more students in German classes are in the Large category and schools with 84 or fewer students in German classes are in the Small category, but the cut-off point is subject to change every year.  Trophies will be awarded in 2021 to the top 3 schools in the Large School division and the top 3 schools in the Small School division.


The Klein aber fein trophy goes to the school with the highest ratio of sweepstakes points to number of students entered among those schools entering between 5 and 15 students.


Money prizes of $100 go to the "rookie school" with the highest number of sweepstakes points and to the "rookie teacher" whose school earns the highest number of sweepstakes points. A "rookie school" is defined as a school that has not entered Houstonfest in the previous five years, and a "rookie teacher" is defined as a teacher who has never entered students in Houstonfest before the current year.


Houstonfest uses the same system of awarding sweepstakes points that is used at the Texas State German Contest. The sweepstakes system was thoroughly revised beginning with the 2012 contests. Sweepstakes points are awarded for first through tenth place in each event, which means that even students who place tenth are contributing sweepstakes points to their school's cause. The table below shows how sweepstakes points are awarded.







5th 6th





Folk Dance (Group), Varsity Pass auf!, Play 30 27 24 21 18 16 14 12 10 8
Duet Acting, Puppet Show, Skit, Video 20 18 16 14 12 10 9 8 7 6
Chorus, Contemporary Music (in a normal year but not in 2021), Directed Dialogue, Extemporaneous Speaking, Folk Dance (Einzeltanz), Oral Presentation, Pair Discussion, Novice Pass auf!, Polka Band, Timed Writing 14 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
Advantaged Speaker Test, Classical Ensemble, Club Album, Contemporary Music (in this tier for 2021 only), Culture, Grammar, Photo Essay, Poetry Memory, Prose Memory, Research Paper, Scavenger Hunt, Vocal Solo 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Crafts, Digital Logo Design, Doll Costume, Gingerbread House, Listening Comprehension, Needlework, Original Models, Photography, Poetry Reading, Poster, Prose Reading, Reading Comprehension, Sight Reading, Shirt Design, Spelling, Vocabulary 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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