Today, the heat was no match for Cowboys fans in East Texas.

A big crowd turned out Thursday July 20 for a community BBQ thanks to their hometown legend Dez Bryant.
Word of the picnic at Kit McConnico park spread like wildfire, after he posted the invite on social media just the day before.

Pinkerton’s BBQ owner Grant Pinkerton said when he got the call from Bryant, it was unlike any call before.
"It was pretty unprecedented,” Pinkerton said. “In my time I've never heard of it. We have some pretty high profile clients in Houston but no one calls and says they want every piece of meat for a party tomorrow."

Texas Monthly rated Pinkerton’s BBQ one of the top 50 BBQ joints in Texas. Close to 3 p.m., Pinkerton said they had served 1,000 plates.

It wasn’t just the BBQ East Texans flocked to the park for. Many drove hundreds of miles just to get Bryant’s autograph, take a picture or catch a glimpse of the football star.

Couka Coleman was born in Lufkin but lives in San Antonio now. She drove 6 hours to see Bryant.

“I've been standing here 6 hours and I'm fixing to get that autograph from Dez,” she said laughing. “I’m proud of him being from Lufkin Texas! LP, LP!”

Dallas Keek is an army recruiter and heard Bryant would be in town from another navy recruiter.

"I’ve been a Cowboys fan my whole life, born and raised one,” Keek said. “I brought my cowboy’s helmet to try and get a signature.”

When Bryant arrived shortly after 2 p.m. hundreds rushed to welcome him. He gave a short speech, took a few pictures and told everyone just to have fun.