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There's No Cuttin' Footloose in This Oklahoma Town for Valentine's Day

An event in Henryetta was canceled due to a city ordinance prohibiting dancing within 500 feet of a church.
'Footloose' screencap via Film Screencaps

A Valentine's Day dance in the small town of Henryetta, Oklahoma was canceled because it was too close to a church, reports local outlet KTUL-TV.

The move is due to an antiquated city ordinance that prohibits dancing within 500 feet of a church—the venue in which the party was to take place, Rosie LaVon's Marketplace, is 300 feet away from the Henryetta Church of Christ. According to the Guardian, the ordinance is a watered-down version of its initial ruling, which banned dancing outright.

Sound familiar? It's a plot almost right out of the Kevin Bacon-starring 1984 film Footloose, in which Bacon moves to a rural, religious town where dancing is banned. The film was itself inspired by real-life events in another Oklahoma town just 96 miles away, Elmore City.

KTUL reported that the organizer behind Valentine's Day dance shut down the event "mostly because her husband is the city attorney." However, Henryetta mayor Jennifer Clason says she has never seen the rule be enforced. Police Chief Steve Norman told the outlet he's never enforced it, and doesn't plan to anytime soon.

According to Mayor Clason, a plan is in order to abolish the ordinance at this month's city council meeting.