Duluth City Council Votes To Repeal Dancing Ban
You probably did it and didn't even know you were breaking the law. A nearly one-hundred year old city ordinance was recently repealed by vote of the Duluth City Council and you have the COVID-19 Pandemic to thank.
At the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, staffers in the City Clerks office started looking through ordinances as they applied to liquor-serving establishments. The aim was to streamline "regulations as they were impacting establishments" that were struggling to stay open faced with the realities of a shut-down world.
One of the ordinances that glaringly stuck out like a sore thumb was one that required liquor-serving establishments within the Duluth city limits to obtain a special permit (a license) to allow dancing. Without the permit, those businesses would be breaking the law and those patrons who were dancing in them would be on the hook for breaking the law as well.
The origins of the ordinance came from the Prohibition era. It was first put into law back in 1925 and was subsequently allowed to stay on the books with a 1959 revision. Enforcement since, though has been almost non-existent. Duluth City Clerk Chelsea Helmer shared that "there is no record of a dancing violation in recent history, although dancing establishments have been given licenses."
Duluth City Councilor Roz Randorf helped champion the change by introducing the amendment for the repeal for a vote. Prior to taking up the issue at the city council level, the city did have a dialog with the Duluth Police Department for their input.