Cancelled–Pony Shuttle Buses
ANNOUNCEMENT FOR RELEASE ON THE 2020 CARNIVAL & PONY PENNING CELEBRATION - May 18, 2020
Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and after carefully analyzing the three Phases as set forth by Governor Northam for opening Virginia, the Board of Directors of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company voted to cancel the 2020 Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival & Pony Penning celebration scheduled to begin July 2, 2020. Please understand that this was not an easy decision to make, with the last pony penning being cancelled over 78 years ago during the second World War. We know how much this community loves this fire company and supports our carnival but with the restrictions put into the phases to prevent the spread of the corona virus, it was the only logical decision to make.
With this said, the foals of the pony herd will be sold by way of online auction, with a date to be determined by the Pony Committee. Plans are still being arranged as to where the ponies will physically be during the auction and we encourage you to keep a close watch on the developments as plans are made public on the auction. Our longtime auctioneer Tim Jennings will be conducting the auction and it should be a positive event for this fire company.
I pray all of you are staying safe, and please don’t hesitate to call us if you need us. We will always be here for you!
Alex Tucker, President
Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
More information about the online auction and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge closures can be found on the Auction Day page.
INFORMATION BELOW THIS LINE IS NOT APPLICABLE IN 2020.
Pony Shuttle Information
1. Shuttles start at 6 a.m. from Chincoteague Municipal Center at 6150 Community Drive. This service is free.
2. All visitors riding the Pony Shuttle will be taken to Veteran's Memorial Park. This is not pony landing site. If you wish to go to the landing site, you will need to walk from Veteran's Memorial Park. Seating is not provided at either location. The pony landing site is marshland.
3. A large Jumbotron will be located in Veteran's Memorial Park with a live feed of the swim. The 2019 Jumbotron is sponsored by the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce, Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, Affordable Business Systems, Best Western, Chincoteague Island House of Jerky, Comfort Suites, Marina Bay, Refuge Inn, Sea Shell Motel, Seaside Vacations, The Bike Depot and Waterside Inn.
4. Volunteer Guides are available on the buses to assist you. Other Pony Shuttle volunteers will be available at various locations to assist you.
5. Please be prepared for hot and humid conditions on swim day. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellant. No seating is provided. The swim area at Pony Swim Lane is marshland so wear proper shoes. Flip flops not recommended.
6. Parking for persons with disabilities is available at the Chincoteague Municipal Center, 6150 Community Drive, ONLY. There will be a bus to transport to Veteran's Memorial Park. Parking is very limited. No handicap parking will be available at Veteran's Memorial Park as in past. Please see a Pony Shuttle Volunteer for assistance.
7. Day visitors should use Chincoteague Municipal Center, 6150 Community Drive. Turn left at the stoplight at the foot of the bridge. Proceed to Chincoteague High School and turn right onto Hallie Whealton Smith Drive. Continue as directed by Town officials. There may be some parking available at the Chincoteague Carnival Grounds, 3648 Main Street. Shuttle stops in front of the Carnival to go to the swim and return behind the Carnival grounds. There is no parking at other pick-up points.
8. Please remember where you are parked. Parking Lot A (Municipal Center), Parking Lot B (Elementary School), Parking Lot C (Island Nature Trail), Parking Lot D (Donald Leonard Park/High School) or Carnival.
9. The shuttles will leave the Municipal Center and pick up in locations along Maddox Boulevard and Main Street. Please look for the Pony Shuttle Signs. There are no stops south of the Carnival.
10. DECISION! Immediately after the swim, two lines will form in the front of Memorial Park (where you were dropped off for the swim). One line is for transportation to the Carnival (where the pones are going) and one line is for transportation to the Municipal Center, motels and other locations. If you are going to a motel, you will first be transported to the Municipal Center where connections my be made to your lodging.
11. You must be in line to get shuttle transportation at Memorial Park. Please be patient after the swim! In several hours before the swim we transport thousands. We cannot accommodate thousands immediately after the swim. If you paid to park in the Memorial Park area, you will need to walk back to your car as there are no stops at the park after swim site is empty (approximately one hour after swim).
12. Walking from the swim site to the Carnival after the swim is recommended. The distance is approximately 1/2 mile.
13. If you walk from Memorial Park to the pony landing site, you must be back to the front of Memorial Park within 30 minutes of the ponies coming ashore.
14. If you take a shuttle to the Carnival, you will not be able to reload on a shuttle until the SWIM SITE (Memorial Park) is emptied.
15. Buses will begin to load after the ponies arrive at the Carnival. Service from the Carnival will continue until APPROXIMATELY ONE HOUR AFTER THE PONIES ARRIVE.
16. Vehicle travel will be extremely heavy in the Carnival area and throughout the Island after the swim. Several of the roads from the swim site to the Carnival will be closed until after the ponies arrive. (See road closures below). Please do not attempt to go back to your car then drive to the Carnival. You will hold up traffic!
17. A long single-file line will form behind the Carnival immediately after the ponies arrive. The end of the line is to the south of the corral. You must get to the end of the line and work towards the buses. Be sure everyone in your party is counted for loading. The line moves quickly as buses become available.
18. After the swim area is cleared, there will be no further stops at Memorial Park. Buses will only be available behind the Carnival on Willow Street.
19. The last bus leaving from behind the Carnival on Willow Street will be approximately 1 hour after the ponies arrive at the Carnival.
20. Please do not carry large coolers, large strollers, yard/porch chairs or large umbrellas on the buses. Bring only what will fit in your lap.
21. At 11 a.m. the "Pony Express", the Island's trolley system, will begin service across from the main entrance of the Carnival Grounds on Main Street. The fare is 25¢ per person. View trolley brochure and schedule.
22. Buses will run on WEDNESDAY ONLY.
Bus Stops for Pick-up
[Stops are subject to change]
Municipal Center on Community Drive - Day Visitors and Handicapped Visitors should report here. There is no parking at other pick-up points. There will be one bus equipped for handicapped. Please see a Pony Shuttle Volunteer for assistance.
Corner of Deep Hole Road and Maddox Boulevard - serving Chincoteague Inn, Atlantic Shores Inn & Suites, Sea Hawk Motel, America's Best Value
Corner of Main Street and Taylor Street - serving Island Resort, Holiday Cottages
Corner of Main Street and Clark Street - serving Watson House, Lighthouse Inn, Comfort Suites & Hampton Inn
Corner of Main Street and Church Street (Don's Seafood Restaurant) - serving Channel Bass Inn & Miss Molly's Inn
Corner of Main Street and Marlin Street (Fairfield Inn) - Before Swim Only
Main Street Between Marina Bay & Waterside Inn - Before Swim Only
Traffic Circle on Maddox Boulevard (Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce) - serving Chincoteague Island KOA, Dove Winds, Refuge Inn, Best Western and Days Inn
Memorial Park - Closest stop to the Swim Site. After the Park is empty this will not be a stop. (Before and Immediately After Swim Only)
Carnival Grounds- Stop at front of Carnival Grounds before swim. Stop behind Carnival Grounds after swim.
On Wednesday, July 24,2019, Pony Swim Day, starting at approximately 4:30am the following street closures will be in effect:
- Willow Street from Jester Street to Bunting Road
- North bound traffic on Deep Hole Road from Taylor Street to Hallie Whealton Smith Road
- Memorial Park Drive
At 8am, Bunting Road will be closed.
Once the flare goes up and until the ponies have cleared the streets, the following street closures will be in effect:
- Main Street from Jester Street to Beebe Road
- Ridge Road south of Sunset Drive to south of Beebe Road
- Beebe Road
- Eastside Road from Ridge Road to Sunnywood Drive
Thank you to our 2019 Pony Swim Jumbotron Sponsors!