ELBERTA (AP) — Crowds returned to a popular food festival on Alabama’s Gulf Coast for a taste of sausage and a taste of normalcy a year after the coronavirus pandemic forced changes to the event.

The tiny city of Elberta welcomed visitors back the Elberta German Sausage Festival over the weekend, WKRG-TV reported. Many people went without masks as they strolled between food tents and crafts vendors while cooking smoke and live music filled the air.

“Yes, people are tired of being cooped in and they just want a normal life,” said visitor Cathy Mizell of Satsuma.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t completely shut down the festival a year ago, but forced it to adopt a drive-thru format.

The sausage festival is sponsored by the Elberta Volunteer Fire Department, which relies on the event as a major fundraiser.

“We’re excited to be here," said Nick Scheer of the Elberta Volunteer Fire Departent. "The park is crowded already. We have sausage selling. We’re happy.”

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