Parades, ponies, and carnivals. Sounds like a child’s dream, right? Well, actually, these three things are included in an event happening towards the end of this month on Chincoteague Island, the setting for Marquerite Henry’s famous novel Misty of Chincoteague. If you haven’t guessed by now, this event is Pony Penning Day, where the wild ponies of Assateague Island are rounded up by the Saltwater Cowboys and brought over to Chincoteague. This tradition most likely began in the 1700s, but it was not recorded until 1835. Since then, it has evolved into a fully-fledged tourist attraction, including various other events that accompany the swimming, penning, and selling of the wild ponies.
What sparked an international interest in Pony Penning Day was the aforementioned book, Misty of Chincoteague. It is the story of a wild pony named Phantom, her foal Misty, and the loving family that buys Misty. You should definitely read it during your Pony Penning Vacation! And while you’re reading it, you should definitely be staying at one of the fabulous Bed and Breakfasts in the area. For the full experience, check out Miss Molly’s Inn, the wonderful B&B at which Marguerite Henry stayed as she penned her novel. Do you see the pun I made there? “Penned”??? “Pony PENNING Day”??? Yeah, okay, it’s not the wittiest of puns, but it’s still sort of clever!
There are also a number of other inns in the area that are also wonderful choices, so you have your pick of fantastic establishments!
By Tara Stoll