KSAT Community: Livestream 96th annual Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest on Feb. 26

Speech competition virtually explores legacy of news coverage

SAN ANTONIO – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Battle of Flowers Oratorical contest will be held online this year.

“EXTRA! EXTRA! Texas Journalists Making History” is the theme of the 2021 Battle of Flowers Association Oratorical Contest happening Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. which offers students from Texas institutions of higher learning an opportunity to exhibit their research and public-speaking skills in pursuit of the first prize of $5,000.

To watch the free livestream, click or tap here.

“The mission of the Battle of Flowers Association is to teach the history of Texas, and I think it’s important to tell the stories of journalists in Texas and how significant they were in informing our history. In the early days, pioneers brought printing presses down the Mississippi on boats and then loaded them onto wagons to go overland,” said Helen Eversberg, chairman of the BOF’s Oratorical Contest committee.

The Oratorical Contest began in 1926, making it one of the longest-running college-level forensics competitions in the state. Percy Foreman, a University of Texas law student who would go on to become one of the country’s great trial lawyers, won that first event, earning the top prize of $100.

“We were determined to press on with our 95-year tradition. And we are fortunate to have the technology available to carry this out,” Eversberg said.

Scholarship prizes are awarded to top finalists and winning orators:

  • First place: $5,000
  • Second place: $2,500
  • Third place: $1,500
  • Fourth place: $1,000
  • Fifth place: $750