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Updated: More tents on the way for Cavalia

Forty-five people and 45 horses will perform later this month.

In a matter of minutes on Thursday afternoon, an empty piece of land on the St. Louis Park-Golden Valley border became a majestic, sprawling circus tent.

The ceremonial tent raising was for Cavalia, an artistic equestrian show from the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil. The show is set to premiere near the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park on Sept. 21.

Mayor Linda Loomis was on hand to take in the ceremony.

"I think this is very exciting," Loomis said. "We're just so pleased and honored to have Cavalia choose this site for their metropolitan area premiere.

"We're just really looking forward to it and we hope they're very successful and that our businesses see some economic benefit from the location they've chosen."

Normand Latourelle, Cavalia's founder, said he anticipates upward of 200 temporary jobs coming to the community as the show builds up a support staff. Cavalia will run Sept. 21 through Oct. 2, six days per week, with each show is expected to draw roughly 2,000 spectators.

After standing inside the tent, Loomis said, "It's kind of awesome to stand inside of it. And watching them raise it was just so impressive. They've got this down to a science."

She said she hopes to attend a show.

Latourelle said eight more tents will go up on the 16-acre site between now and Sept. 21 to complete the Cavalia grounds. In all, roughly 100 trucks will be needed to transport the remaining tents, as well as all the other equipment that goes into the show.

When the show starts, 90 performers—45 people and 45 horses—will take to a 164-foot-wide stage made of sand inside the big top.

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