STONE MOUNTAIN -- A crew of about 30 raised the Big Apple Circus tent Saturday at Stone Mountain Park.
After the blue vinyl tent was raised, the crew pushed the 98 side poles into place. The 16-foot poles hold up the periphery of the tent.
"If everyone works together, it's fairly easy," tent master Michael Leclair said.
The most physically taxing part of assembling the tent happened Friday, the day work began at the park, Leclair said. A machine used to drive the 194 stakes through the parking lot on which the tent is erected broke, so the crew had to swing sledgehammers to pound them into the ground.
The crew will take today off, but there are about four days of work before the tent is complete, Leclair said.
Made by Italian designers Carlo Anceschi & Sons, the system for the touring circus is specially designed for quick assembly and disassembly.
Leclair said the blue vinyl is used in the winter to absorb the sun and keep the tent as warm as possible. The tent is also heated.
The Big Apple Circus begins Feb. 12 at Stone Mountain Park. Tickets range in price from $15 to $42 and are available by calling 888-541-3750 or visiting www.bigapplecircus.org. Box offices at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta and at Stone Mountain Park are also open. Entry to Stone Mountain Park, which includes parking at the circus, is $10.