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A tented backyard bat mitzvah

Event Production, Project Briefs | December 1, 2012 | By:

This backyard bash was the “party of the year” for Ocean Tents & Party Rentals.

There are all sorts of reasons why a hard hat is necessary during any tent installation, but for a New Jersey backyard bat mitzvah install, hard hats were required to protect the crew from a tiny bit of nature—combined with gravity.

“There was a large tree that was over 100 years old that dropped acorns on us, so we learned that hard hats were not just for falling tent poles,” says Joe Peregman Jr. of Ocean Tents & Party Rentals, Manahawkin and Mount Holly, N.J. “Acorns that fall from 60 feet up hurt.”

Ocean Tents had eight months to plan the installation, which Peregman describes as a “luxury,” as many recent jobs have had a timeline closer to two months. However, in those eight months, the design changed many times until layout was settled on for the complicated backyard, he says.

“There was a giant tree that the tent L-shaped around, so we had to gutter the two tents together and customize the positioning of the gable legs. The ground was completely unlevel, so we did a laser-leveled Bil-Jax® floor and built custom ramps and railing.”

The Ocean Tents crew installed two Losberger easyflex clearspans,
a 15-by-15-meter and a 12-by-20-meter, and also provided carpet, lighting, a dance floor, tables, chairs, fabric tent liners, fabric wall drapes, linens and a generator.

“The client loved it and wanted us to leave it there, and was ecstatic with our work and staff,” Peregman says.

In the New Jersey area, sailcloth tents, rustic decor, bistro lighting, onion lanterns and farm tables are hot items for backyard parties. “As consumers become more educated about tents and outdoor events, they are requesting floors more often,” Peregman says. “I think this also may have to do with the increase in rain.”

For many backyard installations, Ocean Tents deals with properties that are not conducive to loading in and out, uneven ground, and having to work around trees, decks and fragile landscaping.

“Sometimes we will have to do everything manually because machinery is not able to be used on the property, which just means we send a lot more manpower,” he says. “In our area the soil is really soft, so sometimes we will have to use ballasts on grass just because stakes will not hold. We use augers a lot and multiple stake bars, way beyond what it calls for. I would say anchoring is the most challenging thing for us because of our proximity to the shore and the soft, sandy soil conditions.”

Falling acorns aside, Peregman loves creating a custom banquet hall in a client’s backyard.

“In most cases the client will have an idea of what they want, but I have to create the vision and reality, which is what I really love to do,” he says. “It is challenging, and rewarding when I get to see the finished product.”

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