Stakes for Marquees - A Safety Review

Safety is the most important aspect of a marquee installation. Whether you’re lofting a tensioned canopy on poles or erecting fabric on a framework, making sure that anyone who passes underneath can do so without worrying about the whole structure coming down on them.

Marquee safety can be divided into 3 main categories:

  1. Fabric Securing (Top to Support Structure)

  2. State/Quality of Hardware

  3. Proper Ground Staking

Today we’ll be covering the third item, Marquee Staking.

Standard Installations

All complete marquee kits from Celina contain the minimum amount of staking that will be required for an installation under optimal conditions. This means that so long as your location is level, free of sand or rocks, and your event spans a length of perfect weather, you won’t need to do any additional staking. These conditions are rarely the norm, so you will most likely need to take a look at the next section.

Iffy Locales

Site inspection, done prior to the installation day, is the time to decide if the ground and location will require any additional staking beyond the standard. Situations requiring more attention include:

  • Sandy soils (shifting media allows stakes to rise over time)

  • Damp/water laden ground (not as much grip for stakes)

  • Windy areas/areas with few wind blocks (stronger pull on marquee guy lines)

  • Rocky ground (may have trouble installing individual stakes)

Make sure to note any such conditions, allowing you time to prepare more advanced staking techniques such as gang staking (where stakes and stake plates are combined to improve single guy line holding power) or using longer stakes at standard stake locations.

The Water Barrel Conundrum

Why do people use water barrels? Have you heard of this? There has been a growing practice among some installers where they are attaching frame marquees to 55 gallon barrels filled with water.

“Wow!” you may be thinking to yourself, “that sounds like a great idea! You don’t have to drive anything in the ground; you can put them anywhere you have access to water – what’s not to like?” A lot, it turns out. Water barrels don’t provide near as much force to guy lines, and due to the plastic construction of most barrels they can begin sliding when wet. Which, we’d be remiss to not mention, they are going to get, what with being filled with water and all.

In short, it’s policy at Celina to make sure that people are aware of the dangers associated with water barrel use.

It may seem like an awful lot of attention dealt to staking, but this is what keeps your marquee in one spot. Not to mention this is what keeps pole canopies up in the first place! In case you’d like to know more about staking, feel free to peruse our Knowledge Center, or contact a Customer Account Manager via phone (44-115-794-0041) or email (