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You've never been to the Calgary Stampede before? Here are a few things you should know:
Getting ready for a family show at the Coca-Cola Stage
The ten-day festival starts off with a parade through the streets of downtown Calgary. In 2013, the Stampede Parade will take place on the morning of Friday, July 5. Check out this website to find out about the parade route, seating along the route, and other practical information about the parade. On parade day, much downtown Calgary is closed to vehicles from 7:30 a.m. until around 1:00 pm, with the exception of 4 Ave S and 5 Ave S. For that reason, if you're going to see the parade, you should take the C-Train to get downtown. (The C-Train continues running during the parade.) And if you're staying in a downtown hotel affected by the parade closures (such as Calgary Marriott, Fairmon Palliser, Hyatt Regency, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Ramada Hotel Calgary Downtown), you won't be able to get your car into or out of the hotel parking.
The only hotels that are directly on the parade route are the Fairmont Palliser, Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel, and Hotel Le Germain Calgary. Most other downtown hotels are just a few blocks away from the parade route.
The closest accommodation to the Calgary Stampede grounds is Wicked Hostels, located just across the hotel from Stampede Park and the Victoria/Stampede LRT Station. Hotel Arts is a 10 minute walk from Stampede Park. City View Bed & Breakfast has an excellent view of the nightly fireworks, and is just 10 minutes' walk from the Stampede grounds. (Note that the return walk to this B&B is mostly uphill.) City Centre Riverpath Bed & Breakfast and Calgary Westways Guest House are also about 10 minutes from the Stampede on foot.
Hyatt Regency Calgary and Delta Bow Valley are only 15 minutes from the Stampede, either on foot or by LRT (tram). Most other downtown hotels are roughly 15-20 minutes from the Stampede grounds either walking or by LRT.
City View Bed & Breakfast has an excellent view of the nightly fireworks, and is just 10 minutes' walk from the Stampede grounds. (Note that the return walk to the B&B is mostly uphill.) City Centre Riverpath Bed & Breakfast and Calgary Westways Guest House are also about 10 minutes walk from the Stampede. The Best Western Plus Calgary Centre Inn , Days Inn Calgary South, and Holiday Inn Calgary - Macleod Trail South are all located within 10 minutes' walk of the 39th Ave LRT station, which is just one stop away from the Erlton / Stampede Station at the south end of the Stampede grounds. All of the Motel Village / University hotels are within walking distance of the Banff Trail LRT station. The closest hotel to the Banff Trail station is the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Calgary NW-Banff Trail.The C-Train takes 20-30 minutes to get to the Stampede from the Banff Trail station.
Blackmore's B&B and English Bed, Breakfast and Day Spa are both a short bus ride or long walk from the Dalhousie C-Train (LRT) station. Dalhousie station is roughly a 30-40 minute trip from the Stampede.
Budget accommodations: SAIT Polytechnic Residence and the University of Calgary's Hotel Alma both offer accommodations that are reasonably priced and frequently overlooked by visitors, making them a good option for a last-minute booking as well. Both SAIT and U of C are on the same LRT line as the Calgary Stampede, have their own LRT stations (SAIT/Jubilee/ACAD and University of Calgary) and are roughly 15-20 minutes ride from Victoria/Stampede Station. Mount Royal University Residence Services also has rooms available during the summer months, but their location is not as convenient for LRT.
See Calgary : Hotel Districts here at TripAdvisor for an explanation of other districts that are convenient to use as a base for visiting Calgary.