A musical staple of the Texas Panhandle is gone for good.
After two decades in the community, event organizers announced the end of Homer’s Backyard Ball.
Creator Travis Homer said they are canceling the event because of our uncertain weather.
Next month the music will not play and the crowds will not pack the area.
If you attended last year, you probably did not know you were part of Homer’s Backyard Ball’s final act.
“We’ve been putting on Homer’s for 20 years, and it was just… Our whole group kinda decided it’s time to put Homer’s to rest and find something else to do,” said Homer.
He and others in the group have seen a variety of events the past four years. In 2015, the incident involving Michael Wilcox, in 2016 the canceling of the event, in 2017 the return of the ball, and now this year with the end of the musical fundraiser.
“We say the weather, that’s just one of the many things. It takes a year’s worth of planning to put on Homer’s,” said Homer. “You gotta get the equipment, the sponsors, the volunteers. It’s not always the weather but it’s one of the big factors that tells us, you know. Usually, in May there’s a good chance it will rain. “
Homer said Wilcox’s death in 2015 didn’t play a part in the event’s ending.
“It was time,” added Homer. “My group of volunteers, my directors, a lot of them have been with me from the start and there’s families’ lives that they need to get back to doing what they love.”
It’s not all bad news.
“We’re still going to do something for Homer’s, we just don’t know what we’re doing yet,” he continued.
In 2015 Wilcox was involved in an altercation at the festival which led to him being tased by security.
He later died.
A grand jury ruled no criminal charges would be filed in connection with his death after an autopsy revealed Wilcox died from a pre-existing heart condition.
Since 1997 Homer’s Backyard Ball has helped raise more than $1.5 million for organizations like Make-A-Wish, the Children’s Miracle Network and others.