Want to dance with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day?
Forget it, this little Oklahoma town says.
A planned Valentine’s dance has been cancelled in Henryetta, Oklahoma because it violates an arcane 1979 ordinance that prohibits dancing within 500 feet of a church.
Some are calling it the “Footloose” ordinance because it echoes the plot of the movie. A big city boy played by Kevin Bacon moves to a small town where dancing has been banned, and he fights to change the town’s ways.
The dance was supposed to take place at a local marketplace, but a Henryetta resident Robbie Kinney noted the dance would violate the ordinance.
“The ordinance says no dancing allowed. It’s illegal,” Kinney told CNN affiliate WBRC.
And, he’s right. The marketplace, according to several media sites, is just 300 feet from a church. So the owners cancelled the dance.
Both the mayor and police chief of the small town of 6,500 east of Oklahoma City were flummoxed by the news of the cancellation, according to a report in WBRC-TV, a CNN affiliate. “It’s an antiquated ordinance, no one has ever looked at it to change it,” the town’s Mayor, Jennifer Clason, said. And police chief Steve Norman said, “It’s one of those ordinances that was passed long before I ever came, and we have no interest in enforcing it.”
Here’s what the arcane ordinance says:
Kinney, the woman who raised the dance question is the first place, has taken a beating on Facebook … but isn’t backing down.