City of Boca Raton bars Halloween dance show

Producer fights to keep show alive

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Halloween appears to have a goblin in Boca Raton. The city is trying to prevent a group of teenage volunteers from dancing at a Halloween light and music show this month. 

The show is set to take place in a quiet neighborhood off of 9th Avenue, but the city says the show violates zoning regulations.

Rick Newman spent the last two months setting up his scary holiday display in his yard to entertain the neighborhood - and decided to step it up a notch this year by having a dance team perform. The young girls plan to re-enact Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in Newman's driveway. But the city says - no way.

Deputy City Manager George Brown sent Newman a letter saying a "live show performance" violates city rules, and that Newman could face legal action if the show goes on.

"My first thought is, the city is out of their minds. This is nonsense," says Newman. 

"I'm very surprised to hear the city would shut that down, I don't understand why. I'd love to know a reason," says Jennifer Morello, who visited the display this week.

The city doesn't have any problems with the light and music show, it's the girls dance performance that's an issue. The city considers it a commercial activity, which isn't allowed in a residential neighborhood. However, those arguments aren't stopping Newman.

"Short of the police showing up or the city coming with a court order, the show is going on," says Newman.

And the show just might go on. The Deputy City Manager says he's willing to compromise with Newman.

"I'll probably be speaking with him in the next day or so. The city is trying to work it out so no codes are violated and the little girls won't be disappointed," says Newman.


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