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The challenges of backyard parties

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Backyard parties have run-of-the-mill tent installation challenges, such as confined areas and stone patios where stakes can’t be used. But sometimes installers really have to go the extra mile.

Lefty’s Tent & Party Rentals, Coleraine, Minn., is often asked to set up tents on customers’ private islands.

“We’ve got to be able to get a truck close enough to a dock so we can transport things onto a pontoon or some type of barge system,” says Lefty’s co-owner Kristi Kane. “Sometimes it takes multiple trips. It’s up to our staff to make sure the customer’s pontoon is big enough that we’re not trying to haul 20 sections of staging over on a little 15-foot boat.”

Pasadena, Calif.-based Dolphin Party Rentals encounters similar situations, since many of its clients live on lots that are carved into the foothills.

“They’ll have a beautiful home etched into a hillside with hardly any backyard,” says store manager and event coordinator Errol Simonistich. “They’ll want to have dinner in the back, by the pool and the Jacuzzi and the gazebo, and they’ll want to enclose everything. One time I had a tent with an eight-foot leg at one end and a 21-foot leg at the other end that extended all the way down the side of the cliff.”

Jamie Swedberg is a freelance writer and former editor based near Athens, Ga.

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