Major events

Major events

Music festivals, sport events or boot fairs are a common thing in Dunkirk. But here are the major events you can participate to, along with the locals.

To be confirmed

Dunkirk carnival

One of the most atypical carnivals in the world, the carnival of Dunkirk lasts 3 months, from mid-January to mid-April, with a climax on the week of Mardi Gras.

Inspired by the Dunkirk fishermen who used to sail up to Iceland for cod fishing, the carnival is the yearly main event for the locals. You will discover the typical and funny costumes, as well as a lot of umbrellas with a several meters shaft.

So ask your grandma to offer you old clothes she doesn’t wear anymore, find a wig or hat, and join us and try to catch one the hundreds of smoked herrings thrown from the balcony of the Town Hall on Sunday before Mardi Gras!


The Tall Ship Races

Following its postponement due to the COVID 19 pandemic,
the Tall Ship Races 2020 will return as The Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano 500 Series 2021.
The race will start in Dunkirk from 12 to 15 August 2021 and follow a revised race course to A Coruna, from 26 to 29 August, Lisbon, from 2 to 5 September, and Cadiz, from 9 to 12 September.

The Tall Ships Races 2021 will mark the first time that Dunkirk has hosted a Tall Ships event, and we can’t wait to welcome the Tall Ships, and show them our coastal town which brings together history, natural beauty and contemporary art.