Each year, crowds gather at the shore to watch the bobbing head of 150 Chincoteague Ponies making their way to dry land. The tradition began in 1924 when the ponies were corralled and auctioned off to raise money for fire fighting equipment. It has continued over the years.
The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company now buys a yearly permit that allows them to maintain a herd of ponies on Assateague Island.
Each year the event begins on the island and ends in Virginia where the ponies emerge from their swim to be auctioned off to good homes as money is reaised for the fire fighters.