Utah police shut down dance party because of… dancing?

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GEORGE, Utah -- Police patrolled a Halloween party over the weekend to make sure there was no dancing.

It has many on social media accusing the city of living in a “Footloose” mentality.

The city says the organizers of the party didn’t follow the rules.

Party organizers Heart of Dixie have held The Monster Mash for three years now, but this is the first time it took place in St. George.

Organizer Jared Keddington said they thought they’d be able to have their party at Fiesta Fun Center, a local outdoor entertainment venue, but found out days before the party they’d need a special event permit.

Keddington said he went through the process, and thought he’d gotten the proper permission, but found out an hour after the event started, there were conditions attached.

“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.”

According to a St. George City ordinance, public dances are permitted, but only after approval of the city council.

City spokesman Marc Mortensen said that couldn’t have happened, because Keddington’s permit application came three days before the event and the city council didn’t meet last week.

“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,” Mortensen said.

Correspondence between Keddington and city staff shows the city did try and work with him on the short time line, and told him beforehand the dance portion was not approved.

Keddington said he didn’t get that message, and takes issue with the wording of the exceptions, saying, it was impossible to comply with.

“Things had been crossed out, and in hand was written, no dance activity permitted,” Keddington said. “On another page it was typed that the event must not be allowed to become a dance party due to random acts of dancing by patrons.”

Basically they could play music, but any sort of dancing would be a violation. The city insists it’s not about the dancing, but about following the permit process.

“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,” Mortensen said. “That’s what we try and avoid.”

Mortensen said the mayor and city council have committed to looking at that ordinance following this incident. He said the rules apply to anyone looking to hold a public event. Keddington said the process is arbitrary and discriminating.

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

Click here to read the rules for St. George’s special permit process.


  • jean

    Are you kidding me ?????????? Sounds like something small town in Utah would do. You don’t scratch out things on a permit, and write in whatever the city decides not explaining to the person getting the permit and then stop the dance. Oh I bet the police were anxiously waiting for this yearly party to start just to show their power. Glad I’m getting the hell out of here. There is nothing for people to do here that like to dance or have a party. Shame on St George!!!

    • William Young

      I’m with you 100%. I’m 60 and I have a 17 year old son. I asked myself if I would rather have him attend an event like this or go partying in town at other parties with alcohol and drugs. The answer is obvious. These Mormon clowns in city hall have got to learn to walk upright and get their knuckles off the ground. I don’t want their church standards in my city. Period! The police here are like any other town, wearing their jack boots and acting like God. They are not. The city council had better get with it, it is backfiring and will cause nothing less than hatred and resentment from these kids. Good Job, you stupid idiots.

      • Adam Stuart

        See my comment below. The city, as stated it he article, was clearly trying to help him when he admitted he was late getting the PROPER permit. They crossed out the items on the issued permit (which they didn’t have to issue at all being that the promoter was late0 which they can not approve without city council and they approved the part that they could, the part that didn’t need city council approval. In this case, the city trying to be helpful actually makes it look like (to those who don’t know ho it actually works) the city was being manipulative or overreaching, which is just not the case. And again, blaming Mormons is such a stupid argument. My two boys fighting and saying, ‘well, he made me do it’, is a better argument than blaming Mormons.

  • William Young

    I’m with you 100%. I’m 60 and I have a 17 year old son. I asked myself if I would rather have him attend an event like this or go partying in town at other parties with alcohol and drugs. The answer is obvious. These Mormon clowns in city hall have got to learn to walk upright and get their knuckles off the ground. I don’t want their church standards in my city. Period! The police here are like any other town, wearing their jack boots and acting like God. They are not. The city council had better get with it, it is backfiring and will cause nothing less than hatred and resentment from these kids. Good Job, you stupid idiots.

  • Adam Stuart

    I produce 2 very large events in St. George annually. Two years ago was my first event ever; I had no prior experience. The fear of failure, personally, drove me to research and plan and organize, so as to avoid any pit falls that could have been avoided. Many hours of sleep were lost, and hundreds of hours dumped into planning. In working with St. George City, I found that they not only were very open about the process and all the necessary requirements and limits, they were more than willing to meet with me as many times as I felt necessary to help me work within the guidelines. Not even at my request, they took the initiative to call together any department heads that might need a voice in properly planning the event to meet with me and gain detail about the event, which resulted in clear communication and coordination. I agree that some of the hoops we jump through as event organizers are a bit excessive, but I choose to not be a victim. I simply learned the guidelines, planned appropriately, and had an amazingly successful event(s), and in the process, have forges great relationships with Marc Mortensen and Bill Swenson, both of which have gone the extra mile to support my evens. Showing them FIRST, who I was and the level of attention I was willing to pay to the FAIR AND OPEN guidelines has now resulted in equity; stock I’ve earned in their eyes, where they trust my motives and help even further if I find myself in a bind, which happens. This, in my opinion, falls directly on the event coordinator and should not reflect poorly on the city. I despise over reaching governments, truly, but good planning and execution can always overcome obstacles! And btw, THIS IS NOT A MORMON THING! When you’re argument is weak, it seems in this town, the easy rebuttal is to ‘blame the Mormons’. Lame argument.

    • miles (dave)

      wow thank you very much for your story. thank you for your illustration that responsibility is the vehicle out of being a victim. i couldnt agree more. your right

  • danny

    we’ve lost our freedom as a nation. big government has taken over and gotten out of control. St George has always been anti freedoms, all about the control, especially the court system there. The Judges and lawyers are very corrupt right down to the police department. The local Governmental leaders if that’s what you wanna call them copied and molded themselves after California policy’s and the way they do business. I wish I were making this stuff up. I don’t celebrate the fourth of July anymore. Its funny to see all the sheeple that still believe were in a free country still walking around with there post American flags and marching in the parades. Sheeple wake up!

  • danny

    Sorry I left out the Money or revenue part they rob from the locals and non locals alike which btw is there largest motivator more so then the control issue they seem to have. Ill also have to include child protective services, so very corrupt .(includes the whole State of Utah) they work hand in hand with the local court systems there to destroy family’s and rake in the money. For every child they take out of a home the powers that be get paid over $200,000. (that’s two hundred thousand ) from state and federal money per child. Can you see the motivator for greed and corruption? Were way over due for a revolution in this country. As Thomas Jefferson once said : “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve either one.”

  • Haywood Ja Blome

    Yeah, I just moved to Utah from San Francisco. You really need to watch how you Party here. I had a friend who confused LSD and LDS, and instead of taking a trip, he ended up on a 2 year Mission. Really.

  • desertspeaks

    Every employee of the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT CORPORATE FICTION THAT MASQUERADES AS GOVERNMENT commonly referred to as the STATE, “ALL” swear an Oath to be obligated to the federal and state CONstitutions and the laws/codes/statutes/policies of the DEAD CORPORATE FICTION commonly referred to as the STATE. They “the corporations employees” all believe, assume and presume that their PRIVATE corporate employers statutes/codes apply to “YOU TOO” JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE PHYSICALLY WITHIN THE FICTIONAL BOUNDARIES OF THEIR ALLEGED JURISDICTION!
    Have you taken any OATH that would obligate you to the dictates of a PRIVATE FOR PROFIT CORPORATE FICTION THAT MASQUERADES AS GOVERNMENT?? What’s that you say, no, you haven’t??
    Then what is the nexus that ENSLAVES YOU to the dictates of a DEAD CORPORATE FICTION??

    Keep in mind that SLAVERY AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE IS ILLEGAL “per their own law”!

    Also, the courts have consistently ruled that YOU, “the PRIVATE PERSON”, is/are NOT a party to the CONstitution “state or federal”.
    For instance; If a PRIVATE CORPORATIONS CEO, commonly referred to as walmart, writes a directive that “everyone will buy purple pens” Are you now obligated to buy a purple pen?? Does that apply to you?? Why not?? Oh, you don’t work for the PRIVATE for profit corporation called walmart, and YOU ARE NOT A PARTY TO THE DICTATES OF A PRIVATE CORPORATIONS DIRECTIVES!?!?! No nexus exists which would obligate you to walmart’s directives, company rules and policies!!
    When you got your drivers license or registered to vote, did they disclose that by signing these document that you agreed to be bound by their PRIVATE corporations dictates?? Did they disclose to you, that you were not obligated to enter into their agreement? Did they notify you that they were operating as a PRIVATE FOR PROFIT CORPORATE FICTION THAT MASQUERADES AS GOVERNMENT?? NO?? Then where is the FULL DISCLOSURE??

    When you ask them for evidence that irrefutably PROVES that the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT corporations laws apply to you simply for PHYSICALLY being within the fictional exterior boundaries of their STATE.. They cannot fathom as to how or why you would ever ask such a question! They will obfuscate, pontificate, commit sophistry and fraud, all to make you BELIEVE that their religious doctrine called STATUTES, apply to you! They will tell you “the laws apply because the laws say they apply”,.. They will tell you “you’re not an attorney, so you just couldn’t understand it”
    They will tell you “no amount of evidence will ever convince you that the laws apply, when you ask for proof”
    BUT, They “the employees of the PRIVATE corporation” cannot produce ANY evidence that irrefutably PROVES that their laws attach to you or obligate you in any way, shape or form BECAUSE NO SUCH EVIDENCE EXISTS NOR HAS IT EVER EXISTED!

    • miles (dave)

      governments are made up by the people that live under them (people in utah government live in utah, people in us government live in the us, Russias government = Russians). your rant sounds like your looking at this unbelievably large monster and saying its terrorizing you, but the reality is… THIS IS YOUR GOVERNMENT). i dont know or care if the grass is greener on the other side but i know that the grass is greenest where you water it

      if your government is not doing what you want it to do there are two reasons for that, that i can think of
      1: you didnt do the work you needed to do to make it happen
      2: your idea is not in alignment with the goals of the other people around you

      so… go get to work. and spend less time turning situations into something they are not. choose to do what it takes to not be a victim. or dont and keep crying.

      • desertspeaks

        You have less than zero evidence proving that the laws apply to someone just because they are physically within the fictional borders of what we commonly call a state.. WHERE IS YOUR PROOF!?! Stop flapping your gums/typing empty words at me,.. and put your irrefutable proof on the table or stifle!

      • miles (dave)

        {this is a reply to desertspeaks post which starts you have less than zero evidence} well that depends on where you think laws come from… to answer the question they come from people. people are funny things and two of those funny thing that we do are claim things and make rules about what happens in the arias we claim. then people of like mind gather together in that place of claim and think to them selves “i like it here,i like the rules here, i like the people here, we have enough important things in common and we agree with each other enough that we can build a richer economy together than by our selves”, and to keep this group of people (no matter how big) working well they create rules for interactions, and we do it for things we see as problems and when we are around long enough we make a lot of rules for a lot of things.

        the best part is if you dont fall into alignment with this group of people and you disagree enough than you have the right to partition the group to follow your train of thought or you can leave and go somewhere else but as long as there is a group of people who have rules for these interactions then you must adhere to these agreements or become a victim of the rules or leave. these are your options. i cant currently think of a group of mostly conscious people who dont function on these very basic social rules. so you dont have to adhere to these rules you and many other people dont, they are usually called criminals. but as for you and the others they become victims of the rules (personally i think its silly to fight against reality.)

        post script
        ya know the more i think about it maybe its not so funny after all i can even think of a few animals that function based on these basic principals. also it looks like you have spent most of your time being a victim i dont encourage doing that so id recommend you begin adhering or get out. because your ranting style makes you dis-credible so trying to encourage us to adhere to your train of thought is not likely to result in reasonable people to follow you.

      • desertspeaks

        Factual evidence isn’t subjective, you either have irrefutable proof “which I know for a fact you don’t” or you don’t!
        There is zero evidence that we are enslaved to the CONstitution and laws! period!

      • miles (dave)

        sry it took me so long to get back to you desert. this is a reply to your post that starts “Factual evidence isn’t subjective” well you dont have to like reason… you do have the ability to deny reality, it looks more like your wanting me to quote some law or something which both you and me know that wont work for you. thats why i told you exactly how the laws of nature work in regard to human nature, these are facts i gave to you. i dont know if there is a law that says you have to obey all the laws (if there is that would be silly) but even if there was that would not be good enough for you. so instead i gave you laws of nature (not to be confused with laws of physics or any other set of laws) because in nature people really do act the way i explained it to you.

        by the way your right, there isnt a reason to believe we are as you put it enslaved to obey the constitution. but we are “enslaved” without a doubt to the laws of nature…(unless you would like to overthrow humanity… theirs people who have put there whole lives into trying to do that and id bet you dont have more time or energy than they do)

        so like i said bring your self into alignment with the laws of nature or become a victim of them.

        you sure dont sound happy here how much longer do you plan to stay?

    • bob

      The LDS have the cops in their back pocket so they can push their morals on everyone. I would not surprised if the “living prophet” was behind this…

  • Ray Matthews

    Of course it is not about the dancing, it is always about sheeple control, The whole idea is to control the sheep, keep them compliant and get them to enjoy their confinement while telling them how free they are.

  • ainpa

    You gotta get a permit to dance?????? Nazis!
    Oh it doesn’t matter what you wear, just as long as you are there.
    So come on every guy, grab a girl,
    Everywhere, around the world — Except in Utard.

  • The Goblin King

    Dear St.George Police Department…
    I am dancing at this very moment.
    Should I get a lawyer or am I good?

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