Already two of France's great carnivals are running: in Limoux in the south of France and at the port of Dunkirk in the north. Dunkirk has a great offer on for the weekend of February 9th and 10th. One night and breakfast in the Ibis central Dunkirk hotel; meals on Saturday evening and Sunday lunch near the festivities; and entrance to the masked ball - all for 129 euros per person based on two sharing.
The Carnival itself is pretty wild with giants parading through the town; tons of kippers thrown from the belfry in the town hall, and a celebration of the great pirate (sorry, naval commander) who was so successful against the dastardly English. All great fun.