The Chincoteague Carnival
The Chincoteague Island Fireman's carnival is an annual tradition for locals and vacationers alike. Held in conjunction with the pony swim and auction, The carnival runs on weekends during July, and nightly during pony swim week. The carnival is closed on sundays. Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the pony swim, auction, and nightly carnival activities. Among the carnival attractions are a variety of rides, games and raffles, food and refreshments. Popular foods include the famous Chincoteague oyster or clam fritters.
The main event is obviously the pony penning, a tradition since 1924. The swim, penning and auction is held on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July. The herd of ponies are rounded up by "saltwater cowboys" and swim the channel between Assateague and Chincoteague Islands. The animals are penned, inspected, fed and most of the foals auctioned off to qualified buyers. The event provides a humane opportunity to provide medical attention, grooming and population control. The herd is kept at around 150 animals and are returned to Assateague after the penning to roam free for another year.
Submitted by: cin