Going to a Pope event in the Edmonton area? Here’s what you need to know

Ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Edmonton, Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne later this month, event organizers held a press conference on Thursday to share details about the logistics of the trip.

Here’s what attendees, and residents of the Edmonton area, need to know ahead of the Papal Visit.

ROAD CLOSURES

Rolling road closures — meaning that a road is closed before and after the Pope’s motorcade passes by — are expected in certain areas between July 24 and 27.

The QEII will have road closures and limited access when the Pope travels from the Edmonton International Airport to his destination in the city on Sunday, July 24.

A day later, when the Pope travels to Maskwacis, there will be restricted access to the QEII and Highways 611 and 2A near Ponoka, Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin.

On Tuesday, July 26, the Pope is scheduled to visit Lac Ste. Anne and there will be closures and limited access along Highways 16, 43 and 633.

The QEII will once again have closures and limited access when the Pope leaves Edmonton on Wednesday, July 27.

PARK-AND-RIDE

More than 120,000 people are expected to attend the Papal events: 80,000 at Commonwealth Stadium, 25,000 in Lac Ste. Anne, 15,000 in Maskwacis, and 775 at Sacred Heart Church.

People who register to attend Papal events are strongly encouraged to get there early.

The main way to reach the sites in Edmonton, Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne is through park-and-ride.

For the Papal Mass at Commonwealth Stadium on July 26, there will be a number of park-and-ride locations across the city.

They will open at 7 a.m. and people with a ticket to the mass can ride for free until 2:30 p.m.

“Organizers for the Papal Mass have indicated that the event will start promptly at 10 a.m. and are asking that everyone plan to arrive early. And for those who are seated on the floor to arrive by 8:30 a.m,” said Nicole Poirier with the City of Edmonton.

Poirier added road closures and increased traffic could cause ETS delays for buses the morning of the mass, “and therefore we are asking everyone to plan extra time for your regular commutes.”

The Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne events will also have park-and-ride services in the area.

To get to Maskwacis, there will be buses from Heritage Valley in Edmonton, the Reynolds Museum in Wetaskiwin, and the Stampede Grounds in Ponoka.

And for Lac Ste. Anne, people can park and take the bus from Langford Park, Villeneuve Airport and Mayerthorpe Airport.

OTHER NOTES

People who attend Commonwealth Stadium need to have a ticket. Resold tickets purchased online will not be valid, organizers said.

All the events will be broadcast live and organizers are working to have them in many languages.

Organizers stressed the need to plan ahead, arrive early, use park-and-ride, and register for the events.

For more information, visit the papalvisit.ca, alberta.ca and edmonton.ca.

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