“Thirty years ago (it) was to provide a safe environment for our children. Today it's the same way,” Temple-Lee said.
Since 1980, Elmore City has had a prom every year, Rollings said. She even organized the second one when she was a junior.
“It was just a piece of cake for us to step in and do it,” she said. “They set a very good example.”
After the prom, the law banning public dancing remained on the books, but eventually disappeared, Rollings said.
Even though the prom involved dancing, Coffee said they were able to work around the public dancing ban because it was a private school function.
To celebrate the city's history, people from all over are invited Saturday to attend the annual Footloose Festival and show off some of their moves in streets.
“You never want to forget where you came from,” Coffee said. “This is one way of remembering.”
Rollings said the first festival was held in 2010 on the 30th anniversary of the first prom. City residents then decided to make it an annual event.
The festival will kick off about 8 a.m. Saturday with a pancake breakfast. Throughout the day there will be a variety of activities, including a disco cake decorating contest, musical performances and dance contests at 104 S Main St.
Rollings said the cast of the Hennessey High School production of “Footloose” will present an encore presentation at 8 p.m. The cast recently filmed a YouTube video of a dance performance to Kenny Loggins song “Footloose” that went viral online.
Looking back, Rollings said the prom and experience was something she'll never forget.
“What if we had not got that accomplished? Would they still not be dancing here in this town?” Rollings said. “Sometimes I think there's just youth that have an appointment with destiny.”