Skip to main content

The Duluth City Council has unanimously approved the repeal of a city rule that prohibited dancing. 

Yes, technically it was illegal for establishments in Duluth that serve alcohol to allow the public to dance unless they obtained a special permit. 

The law has been on the books for nearly 100 years. Ordinances regulating dancing and dance halls were introduced in 1925, stemming from Prohibition-era concerns about the regulation of alcohol and immorality, city documents state

The state had a similar law that regulated dancing, but it was repealed at the state level in 1989.

"We're a little behind schedule in keeping up with the state," city clerk Chelsea Helmer said during a Nov. 18 council meeting. 

Council member Roz Randorf brought forward the motion to remove "the Footloose ordinance" after city staff during the first COVID-19 shutdown in 2020 combed through city code to look at regulations and how they were impacting establishments. 

City documents say the no dancing rule has been difficult to enforce and has created inequity in the licensing system, with some obtaining licenses to allow public dancing while others don't. 

There is no record of a dancing violation in recent history, Helmer told the Star Tribune.

During a Nov. 18 meeting, city council member Arik Forsman said he's glad this rule wasn't enforced in his "younger days going to Grandma's Sports Garden."

City staff consulted with the Duluth Police Department before the ordinance was brought to the city council. Removing this ordinance won't impact public safety as the city continues to regulate late-hours operation and late-hours entertainment through other code provisions, documents state.

Helmer said there are several other ordinances that are outdated and could be revisited, with such ordinances expected to come before the city council in 2022. 

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

MacKinnon's controversial goal helps Avalanche top Wild

Kirill Kaprizov's two goals were spoiled by a questionable call.

powell itasca jail jan 2022 resize

Attorney accused of sex assault misses hearing, DMs judge

He was arrested the next day after a warrant was issued,

lorie shaull vulcan snow park st paul winter carnival 2018

Winter Carnival: Get vaccinated or test negative before coming

Organizers are also reminding people to be mindful of the city's emergency regulations.

hospital, emergency room

Driver, 15 years old, hurt when car collides with SUV

The road was wet at the time, the State Patrol said.

Tyler Wahl

Minnesotans have the Badgers back in the national spotlight

Three of Wisconsin's four leading scorers are from Minnesota.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano retires: Remembering his meteoric rise as a rookie

There was no one better than Liriano from mid-May to late-July in 2006.

Related

last place on earth Duluth

Items from infamous Duluth head shop going up for auction

Contents of the store have been in storage since 2013.

mike's western cafe-duluth

After 38 years, Duluth diner closes for good due to COVID-19

Mike's Western Cafe announced the closure with "heavy hearts."

quentin nguyen

Falcon Heights to consider rescinding ban on front yard gardens

The ban came as a resident was building a community garden in his front yard.

patio

Shakopee will allow restaurants to use green spaces to serve customers

The order allows other businesses to use outdoor spaces, too.

duluth fire 2

Duluth firefighters battling blaze at former Seaway Hotel

Wind chills were 35 below zero Monday morning.