2002-08-01 / Front Page

Circus Tent Raising Is More Than Sweat

By Neil S. Friedman

By Neil S. Friedman

When the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus came to Marine Park last week for ten performances, the Canarsie Courier was given special access during the red and yellow tent raising hours before the first show. The above photograph was taken under the Big Top last Thursday as circus crew members worked in the interior of the giant tent.When the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus came to Marine Park last week for ten performances, the Canarsie Courier was given special access during the red and yellow tent raising hours before the first show. The above photograph was taken under the Big Top last Thursday as circus crew members worked in the interior of the giant tent.

The Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus set up its massive red and yellow Big Top in Marine Park last week during its annual barnstorming tour for ten performances. Following the final show Sunday evening, the circus and its caravan of trucks, trailers and cars departed for the next town on its schedule in the still of the night.

Hours before the first performance on July 25, the circus had its traditional Tent Raising just after dawn. An army of workers, elephants and mechanical devices all coordinated to raise the giant Big Top (below).

Four and half-ton pachyderms, like the one below, helped move equipment during the raising. In addition to their tent-raising activities, the Beatty-Cole elephants are part of an opening day seminar where the public is given an education from the circus’ own Elephant Care staff on how the behemoths learn and respond to verbal commands through humane treatment and training.

Once the tent was erected, transforming the southeastern park grounds into a performing arena, workers began setting up the interior (see photo).


Exclusive photos by Adam Gell


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