Thousands will gather to watch as the Chincoteague ponies glide across the Assateague Channel for the 97th annual Chincoteague Island Pony Swim on Wednesday, July 26.
Pony fever reaches an all-time high each year as Pony Penning week kicks off. Hordes of onlookers will make the trek to “rekindle, reconnect, and recharge with family and friends” during the island’s celebration.
Pony Penning 2022 returns to its full glory a two year COVID-19 in-person hiatus. The nearly 100-year tradition includes the Pony Swim on Wednesday and Pony Auction on Thursday. The auction is the biggest annual fundraiser for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which manages the wild pony herd on Assateague Island.
On Wednesday, charter boats and kayaks filled with spectators will line the Assateague Channel, creating a pathway for the ponies as they make their yearly swim from shore to shore. The town of Chincoteague will provide a large Jumbotron located at Veterans Memorial Park to help with viewing.
Find out which pony will be named King or Queen Neptune (the first to make landfall) by following along with Delmarva Now. This live report will update throughout the day, following the Pony Swim, rest period and parade.
What’s the weather forecast
A slight chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. It will be partly sunny, with a high near 87. West wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWChincoteague Pony Swim and Auction returns for its 97th year
What time will the ponies swim
The Pony Swim takes place at the earliest morning slack tide, expected between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. this year. Slack tide is the time when the tide is neither coming in or going out, making it easier for the ponies to swim. Slack tide lasts for about 30 minutes.
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