(Chincoteague, Va.)- It's Pony Penning time in this small island off the northeast coast of Virginia. To those born and raised in Chincoteague Island, it is homecoming-a time to see old friends and reminisce about the "good ole days".

Tens of thousands of people will line the shores of Memorial Park and Pony Swim Lane in just under three weeks to watch the world-famous Chincoteague Ponies make their annual pilgrimage from Assateague Island, VA to Chincoteague Island. Charter boats line the Assateague Channel creating a pathway for the ponies as they make their yearly swim from shore to shore. This is truly 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 traditional Beach Walk on Assateague Island at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 25 begins the week's festivities. The north herd of wild Chincoteague Ponies will join the south herd to await the "big day". The annual swim on Wednesday, July 27 is at the earliest morning slack tide. Visit www.chincoteaguechamber.com and the chamber Facebook page for updates on a more definite time and for shuttle bus information. The auction of foals takes place on Thursday morning July 28 at 8 a.m. at the Carnival Grounds on Main Street. "All proceeds from one of the buy backs this year will benefit Special Olympics of Virginia Eastern Shore Area 19," according to Roe Terry, Public Relations Officer for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. The week's events culminate with the return swim of the adult ponies to Assateague on Friday morning July 29 (time to be announced). The Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman's Carnival will be open July 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 25-30 from 7-11 p.m. featuring rides, games, raffles, fabulous Eastern Shore food and local, live entertainment. Come get your oyster or clam fritter, enjoy the rides and games, and purchase chances on a truckload of prizes offered by local non-profit organizations.