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Pony Swim: Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman's Carnival returns for 2022

The famed ponies of Virginia’s Chincoteague Island are back in the spotlight. The highlight of the carnival is the iconic pony swim on Wednesday.

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — Spectators can watch horses cross the Assateague Channel Wednesday as part of an annual tradition that returned over the weekend to Virginia's Eastern Shore.

The "Saltwater Cowboys" kicked things off Saturday morning at the Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman's Carnival by rounding up 150 wild ponies from Assateague Island.

The highlight of the carnival is the iconic pony swim. They cross the Assateague Channel Wednesday. 

The coronavirus pandemic severely limited public activities over the past two years, but the carnival is back in full force for 2022.

The main public viewing area for the pony swim is Veterans Memorial Park - 7427 Memorial Park Dr, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336. 

A large screen will be located in the park with a live feed of the swim. Attendees will be able to see the swim on the screen. No seating is provided. 

The following day is the pony auction. According to the Chincoteague Pony Swim Guide, the auction serves two purposes: 

"First, the auction helps to control the overall size of the herd, keeping it from growing too large. Secondly, the auction is a fundraiser for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. The Fire Company uses some of the proceeds from the auction to provide veterinary care for the ponies throughout the year. Auction winners will receive a certificate saying that they purchased a Chincoteague Pony from the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company."

For more information on this year's event, click here.

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