The bearded old man in the red cap doesn’t need a heavenly task force. The Ku’damm lights the way for him on his earthly Christmas tour. Like every year for almost seven weeks. This is how long the Christmas light stays on in the dark.
The glittering total work of art made up of 140 kilometers of chain of lights on 554 trees and 140,000 white LED lights stretches from the Rathausplatz in Halensee over the Kurfürstendamm and Tauentzien to Wittenbergplatz. That’s 4.5 kilometers of pure Christmas feeling. The light spectacle in the heart of Berlin was again initiated by AG City. Around 440,000 euros were collected for the traditional Christmas lighting this year. The Economic Senate made 295,000 euros loose, because the light show on the Ku’damm is a must for business and tourism promotion. The Gröner Group donated around 100,000 euros and the company Hans Boehlke Elektroinstallationen around 45,000 euros.
Christmas market at the Gedächtniskirche
“We are happy and very grateful that, together with our partners and sponsors, we have managed to provide atmospheric Christmas lights on the boulevard this year,” says Klaus-Jürgen Meier, CEO of AG City. This also supports local businesses that are experiencing an “enormous economic slump” due to the Corona crisis. And Mayor Reinhard Naumann (SPD) is certain: “Even if not so many tourists visit City West during Advent, the wonderful glow of lights will beautify many Berliners while strolling along the boulevard.”
This is also ensured by the Christmas market at the Memorial Church, which starts on December 2nd. The Christmas tree is already there, albeit still unadorned. The six-ton, 18-meter-high sequoia tree comes from the garden of the actor and Grimme Prize winner Jörg Gudzuhn in Neuenhagen (Märkisch-Oderland) this year. On December 4th and 5th, a charity Christmas market opens in the festively decorated inner courtyard of the Kranzler Eck on Ku’damm from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Financing on the brink
Both markets are part of the illuminated Christmas route, the financing of which tumbles every year. In 2019, AG City still had 600,000 euros available, which is why this time, with a good 160,000 euros less, one or the other Christmas motif had to be dispensed with. The ten meter high nutcracker and the twelve meter tall snowman remained true to the Ku’damm.
In 1978 AG City organized the light spectacle for the first time. Everything went well for ten years, and thanks to the dealer community, homeowners and shopkeepers, the lighting became even more lush. In 1993, however, the sponsorship money was insufficient, and AG City temporarily switched off all lights to protest the lack of financial support. The AG City had to butter up again and again in the following years because the appeals for donations were ineffective. In 2003 the association was even left with electricity costs of 35,000 euros. From 2004 the street furniture company Wall organized the Christmas lights – for 15 years. AG City only took over the helm again in 2019.
The glow of lights can be admired daily from 4 p.m. to midnight until January 6th.