Exploring San Diego


Balboa Park celebrates its 150th birthday with annual festivities

Posted at 11:04 AM, May 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-26 14:04:42-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Saturday, San Diego's crown jewel, Balboa Park, turns 150 years old.

San Diego will celebrate the founding of the iconic park on May 26 during the second annual Fiesta Botanica. The historic day will be marked with a parade, kids activities, park tours, butterfly and ladybug releases, and much more.

Live performances are also planned at the park's Botanical Garden and Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

In 1868, the City of San Diego moved to set aside 1,400 acres of land for the area then known as "City Park." For more than 20 years, the land sat undeveloped but with its spectacular view of downtown San Diego.

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Soon, the park would see the first steps that have led to its scenic beauty. In 1892, Kate Sessions, the "Mother of Balboa Park," offered to plant 100 trees a year within the park in exchange for 32 acres of the land to be used for a commercial nursery.

As the park came into its own, water systems, roads, and more plants were added.

In the decades since it was established, Balboa Park has seen the San Diego Natural History Museum, Museum of Man, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, and many other attractions added, transforming the parcel of land into an art and culture destination.