125 Years of Kurfürstendamm
An anniversary wants to be well prepared. Various ideas were discussed in advance and combined into a feasible overall concept in order to celebrate an interesting and internationally resonating birthday for Berlin in the summer of 2011 with different campaigns. The Regional Management has initiated and controlled the regularly convening birthday committee since the beginning of 2009. The birthday planners include the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf District, AG City and Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH, which was primarily in charge of the implementation of the diverse programme. The € 650,000 in financing came from the Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin Foundation. The lottery also covered the costs for the so-called "show window exhibition".
The celebrations began on 5 May, the day on which the first steam trolley rolled down Ku'damm 125 years ago. Klaus Wowereit and District Mayor Monika Thiemen walked from shop to shop with many other guests and congratulated individual retailers on their boulevard. The high point of the birthday walk was the opening of the exhibition at Breitscheid Square and the exhibition "Kurfürstendamm. 125 Years - 125 Stories" in the showcases along Ku'damm.
On the weekend of 28 and 29 May, there was a spectacular old-timer parade on Ku'damm, since the automobile also celebrated its 125th birthday in 2011. Under the motto of "125 Years of Automobiles Meets 125 Years of Kurfürstendamm", roughly 1,250 exquisite old-timers were presented to the public and there was also a stage programme, fashion shows and an old-timer night show.
From 6 to 14 August, AG City invited all the partner boulevards in the Association of World-renowned Shopping Streets (Vereinigung weltbekannter Einkaufsstraßen) to a "Summer in the City" at Breitscheid Square (Breitscheidplatz). The focus was on typical specialities in the state and the cultural programme of the represented states.
On 4 September, poetry descended on Kurfürstendamm. The French artist group "Plasticiens Volants" let up to 15 meter long mythical creatures hover over and between trees and offered thousands of visitors a charming summer evening after their Sunday shopping excursion. People took notice of the individual events around the open Sunday shopping, and extended opening hours were planned.
The spectacular conclusion of the anniversary summer took place at the Festival of Lights from 12 to 23 October. It offered unique lighting and laser effects for the buildings and trees along the Ku'damm and the Europe Centre at Breitscheid Square.
You will find complete documentation of all the events at www.kudamm2011.de.
The celebrations and campaigns resonated with the visitors, and retailers enjoyed brisk sales, while the press and public took notice. Nonetheless, there is still a lot to do in the coming years. More work must be completed both in the forming of networks and through collective structural improvements for the private and public sector. In this sense, the 125-year anniversary was a good reason to develop plans for future requirements.