Thursday, April 9, 2009

San Diego 1935: The Zocalo.....

The California-Pacific International Exposition's amusement section was located immediately north of Spanish Village, and was known as The Zocalo. Situated along both sides of the long thoroughfare were numerous attractions such as "Miss America" (a colorful beauty pageant show), Ripley's Believe it or Not (an "Odditorium" of humans performing amazing and grotesque feats), Crime Never Pays (featuring John Dillinger's bullet-proof limousine), "Stella" (a life-like painting), Lens Wonders of the World (photographic masterpieces from around the world), Snake Farm (a collection of rare and unusual reptiles), Venetian Glass Blowers (showing the art of glass-blowing), Sexsation (an illusion show), Midget Village (occupied by scores of "little people"), Egyptian Village (featuring Egyptian and Syrian arts and crafts), and "End of the Trail" (featuring 150 Indians from 30 tribes located throughout the United States - housed within the Indian Village remaining from the 1915-16 exposition). Interspersed among the attractions were also rides such as "Bailout" (a parachute jump), Laff in the Dark (a funhouse tunnel-ride), Loop-O-Plane (an aerial thrill ride), Swooper (an elevated spinning ride), and Toyland (a collection of rides designed for children). The Zocalo also contained several shows such as the "Globe of Death" (motorcycle dare-devils performing within a globe of latticed steel), Log Rollers (lumberjacks exhibiting their log-rolling skills), and the "Days of Saladin" (Arabian horses performing amidst colorful pomp and pageantry). An additional exposition attraction, located adjacent to The Zocalo, was the San Diego Zoological Gardens; which contained hundreds of primates, mammals, birds, and reptiles on display within a vast garden of rare plants and trees.

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