THE NAKED TRUTH
The Naked Truth at Zoro Gardens, Balboa Park
For the two-year run of the California-Pacific International Exposition during 1935-36 at Balboa Park...
For the two-year run of the California-Pacific International Exposition during 1935-36 at Balboa Park, anyone could pay their 75 cents and spend as long as they wished watching up close fellow human beings hang out and move about stark naked. Nudist historians, of which there are apparently very few, feel this was the first, and only, nudist park open to the casual public.
Seventy years later, lots of San Diegans don't believe it actually happened. But it did, right there on the Prado, in Zoro Garden, a verdant glen especially designed for the show by famed architect Richard Requa and used now as a butterfly sanctuary. The women sometimes wore "ghost panties" and the men had loincloths and shorts on hand. But often, all was discarded.
Season I: The Naked Truth: The Rise and Fall of America's Only Public Nudist Colony in Four Acts
May 22, 2016. 1:00pm - 9:00pm.
Cultural journalist Welton Jones tracked down the elusive details of Zoro Garden and fashioned them into a four-part pageant that came as close as possible to the "truth." Each 40 minute act occurred at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00 + 7:00 pm.
Season II: The Naked Truth: Free Range
March 18, 2017. 1:00pm - 8:00pm.
After the first season pageant directed by dramatist Playwright Welton Jones, the question still persisted: was Zoro Gardens a social experiment or was it a peepshow? The facts were unclear.
Naked Truth: Free Range revived Zoro Gardens with a group of nudist sympathizers, in collaboration with performance artist Maria Ríos-Mathioudakis. Hourly programs with special guests explored ways a contemporary reincarnation of a 1935 nudist colony can be an accessible, intersectional, gender non-conforming, and body positive social experiment.