Frequently Asked Questions & Party Tips

Consider us your Party Consultants at no charge!
Q: How will I know if I can fit a certain tent in the area I have?

A: First thing that you need to do is measure the area in which you want to put the tent. You must add 10 feet to the dimensions for staking. (This means that if you want a 20’ x 40’ tent then you need an area that is at least 30’ x 50’). This area must be flat with no obstacles in the way such as bushes, fences, rocks, trees, swing sets, pools, patios, decks or any other objects. We will need a height clearance of around 18 feet. If the dimensions that you come up with do not meet our requirements then we will be unable to install your tent. If your area is close to these requirements or if you have a concern then please email us a couple of digital photos of the area along with the measurements to We will respond as soon as possible to let you know if the tent is going to fit. If the tent is going on a patio and can’t be staked then you will need to get a frame tent. If the tent is going on asphalt you must notify us at least 2 days prior to your installation date. We may need to drill into the asphalt in order to stake the tent, but we will fill the holes with real tar after the removal. There is an extra charge for this. Required dimensions needed for all tent sizes to fit are described on all invoices and estimates.



Q: Do prices include set up and delivery?
A: Set up is included in all our tent prices except for some small do-it-yourself tents. We realize how busy you are getting ready for your event and we want you to leave all the legwork to us. We have delivery charges for all deliveries, price depending on distance from Big Top, and set up prices for non-tent items. Please call for more details.



Q: I am ready to make my reservation. How do I go about placing an order?
A: When you are 100% sure you know what you want and have a set date,call our office at (978) 858-0250 to place your order. We will then check availability, go over pricing and answer any questions or concerns you may have at the time of ordering. All reservations require a 50% non-refundable down-payment. Please read your rental contract thoroughly at the time of reservation to avoid any confusion with the rental process. We do not “hold items” without a down payment, “pencil anyone in” or accept emailed, faxed or mailed orders. If you would like to process an estimate into a reservation you must notify us by phone, not by e-mail. Full payment is due at time of reservation on all orders placed within 30 days of event and on all orders under $300.00. All down payments are non-refundable.


Q: How far in advance should I reserve the equipment I need for my event?
A: Once you have chosen a date and know what you need, DO NOT hesitate, call us as soon as possible to reserve the equipment you need for your event. Most commonly a 1 month notice is sufficient though it all depends on the demand for that day.


Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept checks, money orders, cash and all major credit cards. Payment in full is due prior to or at the time of delivery. Please refer to the reservation and cancellation policy for more information.


Q: How long does it take for Big Top to set up?
A: “The average set up time depends on the size of your order. (Example: A 20′ x 40′ tent usually takes about 60 minutes to set up).


Q: Do I need to be present when Big Top delivers or sets up?
A: Customers must be present during the install to sign for the equipment and ensure it is placed in the correct spot. It is the customer’s responsibility to remain at the site from when we arrive until we leave. Additional service and delivery charges will apply if customer is not there to give our team direction.


Q: When should I have my lawn cut before my party?

A: Make sure you DO NOT cut your grass the day of your tent install. The green sap that is left on the surface of your lawn will stain our equipment as we have to lay most of it on the ground during our install. Another reason would be that we wouldn’t want your landscaper or yourself to interfere with the installation of your party. It is always best to leave your grass a little long. Grass wears better when it is longer. If your party were on a Saturday you would want your lawn to be mowed no later than Wednesday. Cutting your lawn after the tent has been installed can be extremely difficult with all the poles and stakes in the way.

Q: Should I rent sidewalls for my tent in case it rains?
A: That all depends. It does not rain sideways and sidewalls will increase the temperature under your tent by 10-15 degrees. Sidewalls are good if it is cold out, for privacy (maybe a disliked nosy neighbor) or if you want to block out an unattractive view close to where your tent is set up.
Q: What is your rain date policy?
A: We do not allow our customers to cancel if it rains. All of our items are usable outside when it rains as long as the equipment is under a tent and away from any moisture. Once your equipment is delivered or set up no refund will be considered.
Q: What is your policy for cancellation and order adjustments?
A: A 50% non-refundable down-payment is due at time of reservation on orders with more than 30 days advance before event. Full payment is due on all orders placed within 30 days of event and on all orders under $300. So, if your order is less than $300, you do have to pay in full at time of reservation. For orders received more than 30 days in advance and which are over $300, payment in full is due prior to or at time of delivery. We need 3 weeks’ notice on all reasonable order adjustments (A 25% fluctuation is considered reasonable) regardless of when order is placed. A $25 processing fee will apply on all cancelled orders and any down-payments will be non-refundable. If you need any further clarification regarding our cancellation policy, please contact us at 978-858-0250.


Q: What’s the difference between a frame tent and a pole tent?
A: A pole tent is held up by tension and requires anywhere from 12-40 stakes. A frame tent requires minimal staking, and is held up by a piped frame. Customers usually order framed tents when they want their tent in an area where they can’t or don’t want us to stake into the ground. You can use water barrels instead of stakes ONLY on a frame tent. Water barrels can’t be used on pole tents. We will not install any tent unless it is staked.


Q: What size tent do I need and how many tables and chairs can I fit under my tent??



Q: I need to rent a dance floor, what size will I need?
A: Dance floor sections come in 4 x 4 foot sections. Each section can hold up to 4 1/2 people and cost $26.00 per outdoor section or $24.00 per indoor section. Below is a list of sizes and sections:

*All our dance floors must be under a tent or used indoors and set up on a flat
clean area. It is very important to keep our dance floors dry and clean



It is always best to set up your chairs the day of your event. Pollen and dust can build up when they are set up a day or two before, and you may find your guests complaining about dirty chairs.

Make sure that you shut off your sprinkler system while our equipment is set up on your property. Water and rain will absolutely damage our equipment. It is also very important that you make sure that all our equipment is set up under a tent or stored in a garage to keep the water away.



Contact Us

36 Hillman St., Unit 4
Tewksbury, MA 01876

(978) 858-0250

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Store Hours
Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm
Open some Saturdays
during the summer