Canadian company Cirque du Soleil is famous for putting on performances that combine circus arts and street entertainment. But for two nights last week, Sims Crane was center stage in Orlando thanks to Design Communications, Ltd. The private company specializes in the manufacturing of signs and hired Sims to help pull down the massive letters that spell out ‘Cirque du Soleil.’ The dated letters are currently being refurbished.
CCO Bill Daley rolls into a parking lot directly across from the Cirque du Soleil building just as the clock strikes midnight on a Wednesday night. Sitting comfortably behind the wheel of the 40-ton Grove truck crane, he explains there might be a delay as workers figure out some last minute logistics.
It’s not until almost 2am before he starts setting up for the lift. It doesn’t take long before the outriggers come out and he stretches out the 115 feet of boom he needs.
Simultaneously, workers use a man lift to get close enough to separate the ‘C’ from the wall and prepare to rig the 200lb letter. A worker soon gives the signal to lower the boom. Rigging starts. Then in a matter of minutes the ‘C’ is hanging high over the building and being lowered towards two men waiting for the giant letter. They hurry and pack it into the back of a truck.
The process is repeated for each of the letters. This continues into the early morning until there’s nothing left on the side of the building but a faint imprint of where letters once hung.
Daley is called out a second night in a row. This time it’s to put a temporary sign in place. The boom of the 40-ton Grove truck crane is stretched out again to 115 feet. This time he works to hang a three piece fabric sign. Each section is 10 feet tall and 25 feet wide. The lightweight signs are lifted to waiting workers who secure them in place. Once again, it’s another long night for Daley.
But he’s not quite done yet with Cirque du Soleil. He will be back to Downtown Disney in the next couple of weeks to set the new sign in place. As they say, what goes up must come down.