Just weeks after announcing the return of the annual Christ the King Sausage Fest, organizers decided to cancel traditional activities and switch to a drive-thru event.

“The Fest committee remains committed to holding an event that keeps public health as a priority while continuing with the festival tradition that so many in the Tri Cities have come to anticipate and enjoy for the last 40 years,” the announcement said.

The annual popular community event is a major fundraiser for Christ the King Catholic School in Richland.

The festival features live music, a carnival with children’s games, an indoor and outdoor beer garden and food booths serving up its namesake sausage, corn on the cob and more.

The festival committee said that the decision was made after looking at the high number of COVID-19 cases in Benton and Franklin counties, the strain on the medical community and the unavailability of vaccines for kids under 12.

Instead, the event will include a drive-thru dinner on Sept. 17, and lunch and dinner on Sept. 18. More details will be announced in the future.

Last year’s traditional activities were canceled as well and turned into a drive-thru event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.