When the Top Comes Down

By now, if you’re reading this you probably have some prior experience or interest in the installation or use of marquees. I know, I know – I’m pretty much a psychic. So as you peruse our library of installation videos, product flyers, and generally informative tidbits, you may come across a striking realization that we’ve recently had as well. Who is talking about tent tear-downs?

Reverse, Reverse!

In the majority of tent usage guides, the instructions for taking down a tent are normally a simplified reversal of the installation process, which makes sense. Since most tents are installed in such a way as to make the process as easy and straightforward as possible, this lets you safely remove supports and avoid any unnecessary risk of injury.

Marquees supported by poles keep the tent lofted safely by tension – anchors pull the fabric tight with the poles providing precise points (ooh – say that five times fast) of lift that are kept in place by the side to side stresses. Striking in the reverse of installation keeps tension across the side supports while the centers are removed, keeping all poles from just toppling over and landing in dangerous areas.

Frame canopies are in a similar boat, but with the slight twist of keeping all work at ground level instead of keeping tension across the top fabric. After all, if you can attach your canopy fabric while standing in grass, why would even consider adding a ladder to the situation? As a side note assembling a frame in this same way (building the roof frame while it’s lifted on the legs) would just be more difficult than necessary.


Set up and tear down are to the two times when you are most likely to have some injury or harm come to your fabric. It’s the span of time when it’s being pulled, moved, and shifted the most. It’s also the time when you, as the installer, are going to have a lot on your mind. This means you could forget small details that may not have been present during the installation:

  • Stakes

    Depending on the style of marquee you’ve installed, stakes may have been added at the beginning (pole) or end (frame) of your installation. Regardless, those stakes are going to be there from the start of your striking procedure. If not being removed initially, make sure to pay attention to their location. Their low installation height (no more than 15 centimeters or 6 inches should be exposed) can make them easy to miss on a visual sweep of an area, and in a battle between metal stakes and vinyl fabric there is only one clear winner.

  • Event Debris

    Applying to installer equipment as well, it can be a huge hassle to find out that you’ve dropped your fabric right on top of some folded chairs, tent stakes, or frame tent jacks that were left in the tent footprint. This is why drop cloths are such a decent investment - it can be hard to find all small objects that may cause damage.

  • Cleanliness

    Similar to the blog we posted last week, uninstalling a marquee is the perfect time to make sure that it’s in shape for the next installation. This is also the best time to remove any stuck on leaves, debris, or remove dirt and accumulation before they cause any more damage during storage. Cleaning after use is the number one method of tent mold prevention.

Keeping your marquee top in shape will give your investment the longest life possible, with event after perfect event. For more information and tenting tips, check out Celina Tent’s YouTube page, or browse our Knowledge Center.