Society

Real Life 'Footloose'?: Utah Town Criticized For Requiring Permit For Dancing

| by Lisa Fogarty

Police in a small Utah town reportedly shut down a Halloween event because they say the party organizers didn’t take the necessary steps to get a dance permit – a move that has prompted several partygoers to take to social media and criticize the town’s “Footloose” mentality.

Heart of Dixie party company has held its popular The Monster Mash Halloween party for three years in various Utah cities, but this year marked the first time it tried to throw the party in St. George, reports Fox 13. But mere days before the event was scheduled to take place at an outdoor venue called Fiesta Fun Center, the city reportedly told organizer Jared Keddington they had failed to obtain a special permit – for dancing.

“We were given a permit,” Keddington said. “And then told by officers we couldn’t have a dance, under threat of being taken to jail with a felony of inciting a riot.”

St. George City permits public dancing only after it has been approved by the city council.

“Had this actually come to the city a month in advance, which we typically require for large-scale events, there wouldn’t have been an issue,” said city spokesman Marc Mortensen.

Mortensen continued: “Via the power of social media, who knows how many could have showed up and would that have overburdened that particular neighborhood and could it have potentially created problems. That’s what we try and avoid.”

But many are saying towns like St. George make it virtually impossible to throw parties because they don’t like having events in town – and that one way to make it difficult is by providing last-minute permit requirements, reports thefreethoughtproject.com.

“It’s not ok to tell people they can’t dance,” said Keddington. “It’s not ok to tell people they have to get a permit to dance.”

Sources: Fox 13, thefreethoughtproject.com

Photo Credit: Chris Waits/Flickr , freethoughtproject.com