PONCA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – We’re heading into 4th of July weekend, and the party has already kicked off in Ponca City.

On Thursday evening, the family behind Head Country BBQ threw a community-wide party and gave out 5,000 free meals.

“It’s the Oklahoma standard and that’s the Head family,” said Rich Cantillon, the President of the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce.

C.R. Head told KFOR the idea to throw the barbecue popped into his dad, Danny’s, mind about two months ago.

“He called me and he said, “Son, I want to have a big party in Ponca City for about 5,000 people. I will do it for free.”

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Barbecue and good times. Image KFOR

That plan came to fruition Thursday evening at Lake Ponca. Thousands of community members enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, chips and cookies.

The Head’s say the party was a way for the community to celebrate surviving the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wanted to have a party,” said Danny Head, the owner of Danny’s BBQ Headquarters. “To say COVID’s pretty well done. Sick of it. We’ve gotten through it. My family is a giving family, and we just enjoy seeing people happy.”

The Head family said they’re considering throwing another party like this next summer.