You don’t need to be fluent, but learning a few bon mots will help you get along with the Québécois, considering that the official language is French. There are likely to be English speakers around, but try to use the opportunity to learn something new.
Try Some Caribou
No, not the North American reindeer, but the hot alcoholic beverage that’s traditional to drink at the Winter Carnival. All in moderation, however, because the feisty concoction contains vodka, brandy, sherry and port.
Dress for the Weather
Unless you’re game to buy a lot of carnival-themed winter gear, remember to bring along clothing appropriate for the climate. At a festival that mentions ice and snow every third word, it means that unless you’re a polar bear or Bonhomme Carnaval himself, you’ll need a coat, hat, gloves, boots, and plenty of layers.