Excitement is in the air in this small island off the northeast coast of Virginia now recognized as the Happiest Seaside Town in America according to Coastal Living®. It’s Pony Penning time, also known as “homecoming” to ‘teaguers.
Children of all ages will be lining the shores of Memorial Park in just a few days to watch the world-famous Chincoteague Ponies make their annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island amid cheers, smiles, and even a few tears. Such a magical event unlike any in the world! Made famous by Marguerite Henry’s book Misty of Chincoteague in 1947 and a Hollywood movie in 1961, pony penning has become a “bucket list” dream for many. The auction of foals will undoubtedly be emotional for little girls and boys who have been saving money all year to buy their very own Chincoteague pony.
Pony Penning Week begins Monday, July 28 with the traditional Beach Walk on Assateague Island at 6 a.m. to join the north and south herds for the official penning. The annual swim on Wednesday July 30 is at the earliest morning slack tide. A more definite window of time will be announced on Tuesday. The auction of foals takes place on Thursday morning July 31 at 8 a.m. at the Carnival Grounds on Main Street. The week’s festivities culminate with the return swim of the adult ponies to Assateague on Friday morning. The Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival will be open every night of Pony Penning Week from 7-11 p.m. featuring rides, games, raffles, fabulous Eastern Shore food and local, live entertainment.
Visit the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce at www.chincoteaguechamber.com for shuttle information and details on all events and activities. Saddle up for a week of fun and frolicking on the beach with wild ponies.