The annual Chincoteague’s Pony Swim will take place Wednesday July 27, 2022 between 8:30am and 10:30am
The Chincoteague Pony Swim was made famous by Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague”. Tens of thousands of spectators from around the world gather on Chincoteague Island each year to watch this annual tradition.
The festivities kick-off the Saturday before the Pony Swim with the Southern Herd Roundup, and conclude the Friday after the Pony Swim when the Ponies swim back to Assateague.
The Chincoteague Fireman’s Carnival – with rides, games, raffles, and lots of good food – will be open each night (Mon – Sat) during pony penning week beginning at 7pm. Misty of Chincoteague will be showing, at 11:00 am daily, at the Island Theater during pony penning week (Mon – Fri). Admission is free and is first come, first served.
Shuttles – Begin at 5am and end one hour after ponies arrive at the Carnival Grounds (free).
Carnival – 7pm – 11pm. Rides, games, food, live music, Bingo, and raffles. Neptune raffle will take place at the bandstand at 7pm. You must be present to win.
Trolley Service – Runs 8am – 1pm only ($0.50 per ride)
At “slack tide”– The Chincoteague Ponies will swim across the Assateague Channel, led by the Saltwater Cowboys, just south of Veterans Memorial Park (7427 Memorial Park Dr, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336) on the east side of Chincoteague Island called Pony Swim Lane. Folks wishing to view the swim from Pony Swim Lane are advised to wear appropriate attire—old clothing and closed toe shoes or muck boots—as this area is very muddy.
There is no charge by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company or Town of Chincoteague for parking or seeing the ponies swim. All parking at Veteran’s Memorial Park is designated for tour buses. All those seeking handicap parking and all day-trippers are encouraged to go to the Municipal Center (6150 Community Drive, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336) and catch the free shuttle. There will be a handicap accessible bus for your convenience. Those staying on the island may catch a shuttle bus near their lodging.
Charter boats and kayak tours/rentals are also available for watching the Pony Swim. Call the chamber office at 757-336-6161 for assistance in finding available seats. Spaces fill up quickly so don’t wait until the last minute.
The first foal to come ashore will be named King or Queen Neptune and will be given away in a raffle drawing at the carnival grounds bandstand at 7pm. Tickets are sold each night at the carnival and during the wait time for the swim. You must have a ticket and you must be present to win.
After swimming the short distance across the channel, the ponies will rest for approximately 45 minutes to an hour before “parading” to the carnival grounds on Main Street. See shuttle bus map for parade route.
The carnival will be held from 7pm – 11pm with rides, games, and lots of good food.
PLEASE NOTE: Pets are not permitted in Memorial Park or the Carnival Grounds.