Going green in Berlin: A spree on the Spree

Berlin, Germany – This Easter weekend in Berlin, the growing vegan community assembles at The Green Market Berlin’s “Spring Edition 2015”, where young attendees can continue to celebrate the city’s first vegan lifestyle market of the season.

Having opened the event to the public on Saturday 4 April, the non-profit organization Green Market Berlin (GMB) is determined to commit to the schedule of its open-air celebration until Monday evening, rain or shine.

For decades, Berlin has been an exceptional center point of liberal conscientiousness in Europe. With a large population of young folks already following the vegan lifestyle within its city borders, Berlin is a more than ideal location to showcase vegan culture.

Located at Arena Berlin, directly on the River Spree, the event will serve as a meeting ground for guests of all ages and nationalities who are interested in the vegan lifestyle. Next to the venue is the famous Badeschiff beach bar, where young adults are able to enjoy cool sand, dancing, and a floating swimming pool on top of the river.

With an entrance fee of €2, admission into the event remains affordable for youth who seek the most affordable entertainment, provided they are interested in vegan culture and arrive between the hours of noon and 8PM (children enter free; dogs not admitted).

Offering attendees with the sale of gifts and local vegan food from boutique market food trucks, the GMB is also prepared to entertain guests, young and old, with live music as well as a workshop for children.

Although the outdoor venue is relatively small and the Berlin sky cannot seem to decide between clearing up or spitting sleet upon those below, attendance at the event on its opening day appears to range from moderate to above average, with a seemingly large number of twenty-somethings based on the observed density of the site.

Picnic tables of the venue, where most of the market guests sit to enjoy their fresh vegan food. Music tent and bar are seen in the background.
Picnic tables of the venue, where most of the market guests sit to enjoy their fresh vegan food. Music tent and bar are seen in the background.

According to the GMB founder Stefanie Witt, successful attendance at the organization’s inaugural market had paved the way for future events to take place. “The first Green Market was last year in November with our Christmas market at the Glashaus,” states Witt, “we then discovered the people here like us.”

As explained by Witt, the event in November was vegan-vegetarian and accumulated a total of 2,700 guests over the weekend. “We were not expecting so many people to come to the Christmas market, so we thought we would make the next event completely vegan. We also decided to put on a new market every season from that point forward.”

Witt, a vegan herself, is personally acquainted with the owners of each of the boutique stands selling their products at the event. “I will approach them directly and ask if they can make and sell some of their food that most vegans enjoy,” explains Witt.

One such owner who was requested by Witt to attend the market is Denise Drenkelfort, who is managing a small popsicle cart at the event. Despite being located in the direct center of the market, Drenkelfort’s cart remains isolated, as it is still too cold at the moment for guests to acquire and appetite for fruit-flavored ice.

“I am the ice producer, which I do with my husband,” says Drenkelfort, “Stefanie [Witt] is an old friend of ours.”

Drenkelfort and her husband are known among Berlin’s vegan community for their homemade ice on a stick, and are often requested to participate in street markets throughout the city to distribute their product. “There is a good network for these kinds of things in Berlin,” says Drenkelfort, pointing to her sweet yet nutritious snack.

View of the venue and Drenkelfort (right) from the River Spree.
View of the venue and Drenkelfort (right) from the River Spree.

Drenkelfort is just one of the many vendors present at the market with the desire to celebrate the healthy lifestyle that is brought about by veganism. As Witt explains, “We do this not only for health, but for the people, animals, and the environment. To save the world, one small step at a time… There are no info stands and no fighting stands here. We just want nice food, happy people, and to not offend anyone for not being vegan.”

When asked if the success of this market can be compared to the GMB’s Christmas market, Witt remained optimistic, claiming that Sunday will see an exponential increase from Saturday. “It’s Easter, everyone is in town, and the sun will be shining, so I hope we can prove successful.”