Tags: henryetta | oklahoma | dance | ban | lifted

Henryetta, Oklahoma Dance Ban, a 40-Year-Old Rule, Lifted by City

Image: Henryetta, Oklahoma Dance Ban, a 40-Year-Old Rule, Lifted by City

The Oklahoma city of Henryetta has lifted a 40-year-old dance ban. (Kutt Niinepuu/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Feb 2017 04:57 PM

Let them dance! The town council of Henryetta, Oklahoma, voted unanimously Tuesday to repeal a 40-year-old rule banning dancing within 500 feet of a church after a planned Valentine’s Day dance was canceled because of the ordinance.

Business owner Joni Insabella planned to host the dance (where no alcohol would be available) above her shop at Rose LaVon’s Marketplace and Event Center, the Tulsa World reported. She started selling tickets, but the city’s Chamber of Commerce posted negative comments about the dance on its Facebook page and called Insabella a “lawbreaker” and suggested she was getting special treatment because her husband was city attorney.

“The church does not care. They are our frequent shoppers over here,” Insabella said, Tulsa World reported. “Church people come over all the time. They weren’t the ones that had the problem.”

Insabella decided to cancel the dance, but the flap got the mayor’s attention.

Mayor Jennifer Clason had never heard of the ordinance and said it had been broken many times by dances being held at churches and schools, with no one complaining, according to Tulsa World.

Police Chief Steve Norman said he had never enforced the ordinance.

“If we’re not going to enforce it, let’s not have it,” Clason said, Tulsa World reported.

“A lot of the elders here in town are afraid,” Insabella told KJRH News. “They’re afraid that then bars will go in on Main Street and dancing causes a lot of undesirable things that they don’t want in the town.”

Henryetta's meeting to rescind the dance ban was packed with townspeople and media, who had gotten wind of the "Footloose"-like ban after the Valentine’s Day dance was canceled, Tulsa World said.

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Let them dance! The town council of Henryetta, Oklahoma, voted unanimously Tuesday to repeal a 40-year-old rule banning dancing within 500 feet of a church after a planned Valentine's Day dance was canceled because of the ordinance.
henryetta, oklahoma, dance, ban, lifted
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2017-57-23
Thursday, 23 Feb 2017 04:57 PM
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