The historic 1935 Zoro Garden Nudist Colony was recreated today in Balboa Park!
The unusual one day event was produced by Parkeology, an organization that according to their flyer “is a public art series that excavates sites, stories, and sense of our urban parks”.
In 1935, San Diego opened the California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park, trying to replicate the enormous success of the earlier 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The main intent of this “world’s fair” was to promote economic activity during the Great Depression. Various lowbrow entertainments created for the exposition were designed to lure a popular crowd.
Well, today’s recreation of the Zoro Garden Nudist Colony certainly did draw some eyeballs, and a very wide range of reactions!
It was interesting to note most participants appeared to be college age females. The literature suggests the motivation for the event was at least partly political, stating “the reincarnation of the 1935 nudist colony can be an accessible, diverse, intersectional, gender-non-conforming and body positive social experiment.”
One thing I know for certain. Take a walk through lively Balboa Park on any given day and you never know what surprises you might stumble upon!