Showing posts with label Chincoteague ponies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chincoteague ponies. Show all posts

Friday, April 27, 2012

Chincoteague Seafood Festival

The 2012 Chincoteague Spring Seafood Festival May 5 at Tom's Cove Park...Noon to 4 p.m.

Call the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce for tickets. 757-336-6161

Friday, September 24, 2010

Entrance Fee To Assateague Waived For Saturday

ASSATEAGUE -- Assateague Island National Seashore Superintendent Trish Kicklighter announced that in recognition of National Public Lands Day, the entrance fee will be waived for all visitors to Assateague Island National Seashore on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The fee waiver applies at both the Maryland and Virginia districts of the National Seashore.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the National Seashore at a great time of the year," said Kicklighter. "Fall flowers are blooming, the weather is perfect, and the island is less crowded than during the busy summer season."

National Public Lands Day is an annual event celebrating service and recreation at more than 1,600 parks, refuges, and other public lands throughout the nation. Visitors to Assateague and other areas are encouraged to help out during their stay by volunteering in public service projects. Stop by the Maryland District Ranger Station to see how you can participate.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

9 Year Old Vacationer Gives Poem To Chamber

CHINCOTEAGUE -- Allison Doss of Dacula, Ga. is a budding young poet.

Allison, 9, a student at Freeman's Mill Elementary School, had an assignment to write a poem with the subject, "Beauty Is."

Allison wrote the following, arranging it in the shape of a Christmas tree:

Beauty Is

Salty air

A quiet marsh

On a secret island

Crashing waves

An Egret's nest

Muller's Ice Cream Parlor

On a hot summer night

A bike ride through mini Africa

A long hike up the striped lighthouse

My friends don't know this place

My teachers don't know this place

This secret island called Chincoteague

But I know

My Pop knows

The ponies know

That is what Beauty is....

Allison's poem won first prize at Freeman's Mill Elementary School and went on to win first place in a countywide competition in Gwinnet County, Ga.

Allison presented the poem to her "Pop," Walter Bulmer, as a Christmas gift last year.

Allison presented a framed copy of the poem to the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce last week, while she was on vacation with her parents and grandparents.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

85th Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim - July 28, 2010

The 85th Annual Chincoteague Pony Penning is set to take place tomorrow, Wednesday, July 28th. The Ponies will hit the water after 10:00 AM at dead low tide.

This year, the town is providing a free shuttle service for people wishing to attend the swim. The departures will being at 5:00 AM at Chincoteague High School on July 28th. There are various shuttle stops for all who are staying on the island already in hotels and campgrounds. The shuttles will be wheelchair accessible and will run continuously until the pony swim ends.

According to lore, the Assateague Ponies swam to shore when the Spanish Galleon carrying them was shipwrecked. However, after research was completed it is more likely they were simply turned free by settlers. The Penning was originally for livestock owners to claim, brand, break and harness their loose herds. By the 1700's it had become an annual event, complete with festivities for entire community, according to the Chincoteague Pony Penning Website. The first known documentation of the Pony Penning was a pamphlet printed in 1835.

Following the swim will be the Pony Auction. The auctioneer for the even will be Tim Jennings. At last year's Pony Auction, 65 horses were sold, or folds as they are referred, raising $94,100 for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. 5 ponies were "bought back" in last year's auction. "Buy backs" are ponies which are purchased at auction and then returned to the heard on Assateague Island. Several "buy back" groups exist such as Feathered Friends and the Buy Back Babes. Traditionally, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman's Carnival has ended the Saturday after the Pony Swim. However, this year Chincoteague's Carnival will run until Saturday, August 7th.

More Information History of the Pony Penning

Nightmist's Colt To Make Pony Penning Appearance

CHINCOTEAGUE --This year's Pony Penning week will be the first appearance of Nightmist's colt, named Paul Merritt's Mountain Mist after local businessman and past supervisor, Paul B. Merritt.

Michael Pryor and Paul became good friends in the late 1980s, which led to Pryor purchasing most of the ponies from the famous Chincoteague Miniature Farm, Inc., including most of the Misty family line.

(Paul Merritt)

Forward to the late 1990s, when Windy gave birth to NightMist. NightMist was a very special pony from the miracle of his birth to the day he died.

The history of the great stallion started with Marguerite Henry purchasing Misty from Grandpa Beebe, then making her famous with a story book titled "Misty of Chincoteague," which has been treasured from the time of its debut in 1947.

This brought Misty into the spotlight, making her famous and starting a legend and legacy to span the next 63 years.

Misty birthed three foals between 1960 and 1962: the first, Phantom Wings; the second, Wisp-o-Mist; and the third and final foal, Stormy.

Stormy was named after the great storm of 1962, which occurred just before her birth. Stormy would birth five foals: Thunder, born in 1967; Windy in 1969; Breezy in 1972; Rainy in 1973; and Misty II in 1974.

Windy would later adopt her sister, Misty II, due to Stormy's lack of interest in her.

Windy gave birth to seven foals: Sunshine in 1973; Cyclone in 1974; Gale in 1978; Hurricane in 1985; Tornado in 1987; Windstorm in 1988; and finally NightMist in 1998.

There are several books about the famous family. The latest editions were written about NightMist, including "NightMist the Miracle Pony," written by Jessie Friend, an understudy of Marguerite Henry and good friend of Pryor; and NightMist the Blue-eyed Pony, by Lois Szymanski, who has written several children's books about the famous ponies and is another good friend of Pryor's.

There is also a comic book featuring the pony and next year a biography about NightMist, titled "NightMist, the Foal, the Stallion, the Legend," by James Smith will be released.

NightMist, like his great-grandmother and grandmother, toured a lot, including with actor David Ladd, who was the child star in the film "Misty of Chincoteague."

NightMist, who was owned by Pryor, died in May 2009, leaving behind many new legacies -- one in particular, named in honor of Pryor's late friend, Merritt.

With the help of his friend Smith they came up with the name Paul Merritt's Mountain Mist. Mountain Mist is marked very similarly to his sire and father, NightMist -- having one blue eye, almost the same medicine cap and body markings and definitely a similar personality.

"He's almost the same as his father, but not exactly the same, because there can only be one NightMist," Pryor said.

Mountain Mist will also be going to train for six months with world-renowned equine trainer Tommy Turvey when he reaches the age of three next year.

Also traveling with Mountain Mist, who is known on the farm as Little Paul, will be Thunder II, the beautiful golden palomino and grand-foal of Misty.

Thunder II was one of the show ponies at the once-famous Chincoteague Miniature Pony Farm and has made appearances all over the East Coast. Thunder II was once the traveling buddy of NightMist.

Again this year Pryor and his Misty family of ponies will be at the famous Beebe Ranch on Ridge Road Monday through Friday from noon on. There will be pony rides all week and plenty of NightMist souvenirs.

The annual party, which was started to celebrate the birth of NightMist, now celebrates his life. It will be on Tuesday, July 27, starting at 6:30 p.m.

There will be free soda, pizza, subs, chicken, hushpuppies and cake, courtesy of the following sponsors: Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Subway, Woody's chicken, Captain Zaks and Sugarloaf Bakery.

During the week, Lois Szymanski's book will be available at the ranch and on Tuesday she will be there to autograph books.

Pryor also would like to think about preserving NightMist's legacy. In the near future there will be a statue erected of NightMist as a foal. The planned statue will be located on the Beebe Ranch, where the legacy began and the most fitting place to memorialize the famous NightMist.

Other appearances throughout the week will be at Pony Penning Enterprises on Maddox Boulevard, which is still run by Helen Merritt, on Thursday, July 29, from 6-8 p.m. Paul's spirit still lives on everyday with her.

This year will be a special year for the ponies that Pryor is offering for purchase. The four foals are grandchildren of NightMist and each one offers a unique trait.

There will be photos available all week at the Beebe Ranch. Come buy a piece of the legend and become part of the legacy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

~~ Smile....It's Friday~~

"If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done."

~~Ludwig Wittgenstein~~

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Assateague Lighthouse Undergoing Renovations

CHINCOTEAGUE -- The historic Assateague Lighthouse is undergoing renovations after serving as a beacon for more than 100 years.
After ownership of the building passed from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2004, a $1.5 million, multi-phase restoration project began. The lower gallery deck has already been replaced, allowing visitors to walk on the deck -- approximately 130 feet in the air -- for the first time.

The second phase in the restoration project involved removing and replacing the glass windows at the top of the lighthouse to seal water leaks.

Funded largely by grants and entrance fees visitors pay to climb the lighthouse, these two projects together cost almost $400,000.

Now, fundraising for the remaining phases of the lighthouse restoration is under way. These include replacing the rest of the lighthouse windows, recentering the stairwell, renovating the upper gallery deck and eventually giving the lighthouse a new coat of paint.

"We don't want to change the fabric of the building, but we want to make sure it can withstand visitors going up," said Refuge Manager Lou Hinds.

Because the lighthouse is a registered historical structure, restoration efforts are being overseen by a Virginia historical official "to ensure the work is correct," Hinds said.

International Chimney Corporation is now working to replace the windows, which are bowing out due to pressure exerted by the wrought iron frames that are expanding as they rust.

"If we don't take steps fairly quickly, additional windows will break, and that is a loss because some of those are original windows," said Hinds.

The Chincoteague Natural History Association is working on a capital campaign to raise funds for the continued restoration of the lighthouse. The association "wanted to be involved in the restoration of the lighthouse, so they began saving money many years ago. That's what's given us such a great start on the restoration," Hinds said.

The CNHA leads tours of the lighthouse, and this summer, five interns from as far away as California have been employed to help.

"Our interns this summer are ... relaying the cultural importance of the lighthouse," said Park Ranger Melissa Perez. "They'll be ... explaining why we're doing what we're doing with the restoration."

She hopes the tours will gives visitors a deeper appreciation for what the lighthouse symbolizes, rather than a single-minded goal of climbing the 198 steps to the top -- although the view of the island from 142 feet is breathtaking.

Perez said education is an important step in gaining public support for the CNHA's capital campaign, and Hinds agreed that "it's the community's lighthouse ... so having community support is important."

The CNHA is currently working with the Curtis Group, a Virginia Beach-based organization that aids in nonprofit fundraising, to survey the public about attitudes regarding the lighthouse and restoration "to find out what fundraising approaches will work best," said CNHA Executive Director Beth Hanback. The CNHA aims to raise $1.5 million for the restoration project and to establish an endowment fund for the future maintenance of the lighthouse.

In addition to the study, which Hanback hopes will be completed in three to five weeks, the CNHA is working to plan events including National Lighthouse Appreciation Day on Aug. 7 and a lighthouse benefit concert on Oct. 2.

The timeframe for the remainder of the restoration project depends on funds received. The final step of the process will be stripping the lighthouse of its old, lead-based paint and applying a new coat.

"Literally the icing on the cake is going to be when the lighthouse is repainted," Hanback said.

The lighthouse was completed in 1867 and had six keepers until the lens was converted to electric operation in 1933. The Coast Guard still operates the lens.

Visitors can go inside the lighthouse Thursday through Monday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. -- but those wishing to climb to the top should arrive by 2:30 p.m. Adults pay $4 to climb, and children under 12 pay $2. All entrance fees contribute to restoration efforts.

Anyone wishing to donate to the restoration project can send checks to the Assateague Lighthouse Restoration Fund, P.O. Box 917, Chincoteague, Va. 23336. Call the CNHA at 757-336-3696 for more information.

"In the end, it takes the public and donations from the public ... to help us achieve our goal of complete restoration," Hinds said.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fee Increases To Get On Beach

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the daily entrance fee to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will increase from $5 to $8 on July 1. The price of the weekly, refuge annual, interagency annual and senior passes will not change. All passes are accepted at both ends of Assateague Island.

The additional revenue will be used to offset the maintenance costs of beach parking facilities and safety services on the Virginia end of Assateague Island National Seashore, as well as additional costs of visitor service projects.

Eighty percent of all money collected from the passes with the exception of the Federal Duck Stamp remains at the refuge to be used for visitor services and facility improvements. In 2009, the refuge utilized recreation fee dollars for repairs on the historic Assateague Lighthouse, annual maintenance of roads, trails, beach parking lots, visitor safety services (lifeguards), fee collection, and law enforcement support. These are some of the many projects that your fee dollars have provided.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Young Island Vacationer Donates Poem To Chamber

CHINCOTEAGUE -- Allison Doss of Dacula, Ga. is a budding young poet.

Allison, 9, a student at Freeman's Mill Elementary School, had an assignment to write a poem with the subject, "Beauty Is."

Allison wrote the following, arranging it in the shape of a Christmas tree:

Beauty Is

Salty air

A quiet marsh

On a secret island

Crashing waves

An Egret's nest

Muller's Ice Cream Parlor

On a hot summer night

A bike ride through mini Africa

A long hike up the striped lighthouse

My friends don't know this place

My teachers don't know this place

This secret island called Chincoteague

But I know

My Pop knows

The ponies know

That is what Beauty is....

Allison's poem won first prize at Freeman's Mill Elementary School and went on to win first place in a countywide competition in Gwinnet County, Ga.

Allison presented the poem to her "Pop," Walter Bulmer, as a Christmas gift last year.

Allison presented a framed copy of the poem to the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce last week, while she was on vacation with her parents and grandparents.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Second Saturday Art Stroll On Chincoteague

CHINCOTEAGUE — Take advantage of the warm June evening and come out for the 2nd Saturday Art Stroll, sponsored by the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance, on Saturday, June 12 from 6-10 p.m. The participating shops and galleries have an array of special events in store this month. Most take place throughout the evening, unless specifically noted

Start the stroll at Threadgoodes on Main Street where Chincoteague’s own WCTG will be broadcasting live from 5-7 p.m. to celebrate Threadgoode’s second anniversary.

Next door, at Bayside Arts, watch a carving demonstration by Mark Pleasanton.

Bayside Arts also has an exhibit of Chincoteague scenes painted on elementary school bricks by Gary Taylor.

Then head over to Maddox Boulevard to continue the stroll. Island Cottage Collection features “By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea” paintings by ICC Gallery Artists, sea glass by Suzie Hazel, handmade jewelry by Laughing Dog Studio, homegrown herbal soaps and lotions by Marianne Warren, wind chime making by Sue Eyet and live music with Bill Troxler playing hammered dulcimer. Next door at Island Arts, Donnie Thornton demonstrates painting on feathers.

From there, stroll over to Church Street where the Linda Nerine Gallery features hand carved cedar, crocheted beaded jewelry, vintage fabric jackets and scarves and a baby boutique.

Back on Main Street, stop in at Island Butterfly and have a portrait sketched by local artist Tracey Taylor Arvidson. Stop next door at Wine, Cheese & More, which offers a tasting with wines from South Africa from 6-9 p.m. There is no charge but a donation to the CCA scholarship fund is appreciated. Then cross the street to visit Psychotronic Music and Beads, where Mia Weldon demonstrates glass bead making and DJ Michael stirs up the sounds of formative years. A few steps away, visit Flying Fish gallery and check out the hand blown glass fish in the octopus garden.
Go back across Main Street and visit the newest 2nd Saturday participating shop: Island Style. Then walk down to Sundial Books where local author Jim Carpenter will sign copies of “From Tears to Memories I and II,” his book about local gravesites, 6-8 p.m. Then head over to Cleveland Street. and visit Egret Moon Artworks for a demonstration of the art of Batik. Stop by and watch how hot wax, colorful dyes and a piece of material can change a life, 6-8 p.m. Back down on Main Street, the Kite Koop and Book Store features live and lively music and treats.

End the evening with the ever-popular 2ndS Soirée at aNopheles Blues. This month the Soirée celebrates the birthday of Weegee, king of the N.Y. 9 to 5(am) news photogs and the noir nobility. Dance to the Beat of Billie (Holiday). It’s proper to schmooze at aNoPheles Blues.

Keep in mind that while the shops and galleries listed above have special events scheduled this month, other members feature art, books, antiques and specialty foods in their shops and many provide special treats during the art stroll. These include the Bookhounds, Guinevere’s & Vintage Rose, the Osprey Nest Gallery and Ron Hugo Photography.

The Chincoteague Cultural Alliance is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization formed to enhance community life by fostering and promoting the growth and vitality of arts and culture on Chincoteague Island and Delmarva’s Eastern Shore. Program support is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Town of Chincoteague. For more information, visit or call 757-336-5636.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Blessing Of The Fleet" On Chincoteague

CHINCOTEAGUE -- The Chincoteague Island Charterboat Association is planning for the 14th annual Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday, May 30, in Robert Reed Downtown Park. The event starts at 4 p.m.
This year's ceremony will feature an introduction of the colors by the U.S. Coast Guard Color Guard. The Rev. Kevin Eley of the Union Baptist Church will lead the group with prayers for those lost at sea and the Blessing of the Fleet.

A. J. Bowden will provide spiritual songs and lead the group in singing "God Bless America."

This year's ceremony will be a joint effort of the Charterboat Association and the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance.At 3 p.m., before the blessing, the alliance will present a concert, "Music At The Dock," featuring Bob Zentz. Zentz is a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard and sings from experience. He has performed on radio, television and concerts all over the United States.

After the Blessing of the Fleet, the participating boats will form a parade down the Chincoteague Channel led by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, ending up in Curtis Merritt Harbor. All boaters, recreational, commercial and others are welcome to bring their boat to the blessing and participate in the parade.

Beach Parking On Assateague Island Is Ready-- Get There Early

I posted an article some weeks back with pictures of what Assateague beach looked like after suffering through the storms of winter. Here are some of the photos again to prove that what the officials are saying is true. I'm sure the National Park Service has worked very hard to restore the beach. Unfortunately, there is only so much that can be done. After all, it still belongs to Mother Nature.................... Oh, please be thankful there is a parking lot. When I was there to take these pictures the parking lot was no longer there.

This is what they are speaking about when they say the "cable and wellhead have been unearthed by the surf". This cable is probably from a building that once stood on the parking lot side.

Article from the Eastern Shore News......

ASSATEAGUE -- Since the beach parking lot was laid to waste by the remnants of Hurricane Ida last November, the National Park Service has been working to restore parking spaces for beachgoers. Despite several setbacks during strong winter storms, the crews have been able to bring back all 961 parking spaces in time for Memorial Day weekend -- the unofficial start of summer beach season.Still, officials say the $600,000 project is not a longterm solution, and officials are wary of expected higher-than-normal tides this week.

"Our land base is shrinking because of sea level rise and the accompanying strong storms," said Refuge Manager Lou Hinds. "These are all naturally occurring reasons and there's nothing the American public or government agencies can do."<>

Hinds said that 115 yards of beach have been lost since 1962. Vestiges of former parking lots attest to this: cables and a wellhead have been unearthed by the surf, and farther back from the ocean, concrete fragments intermingle with the sand.

While the continued erosion will leave no land for parking in the future, Hinds has even more imminent concerns. This week's spring tide means tides will be at their highest.

"If we get a strong easterly wind ... there is a fear that the parking lots would get washed out again," leaving no parking for Memorial Day weekend visitors, said Hinds.

While the Park Service is moving sand to buffer the new lots, long-term plans are in the works.

A long-term study being conducted by Accomack County, the town of Chincoteague, the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission, the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service has identified four equally preferred alternatives including retaining all beach parking or moving some or all parking to Chincoteague and using a shuttle for beachgoers.<>

Regardless of which alternative plan is chosen, $900,000 will be spent to improve bike trail safety and install a transportation system to and from the beach, Hinds said.

Controversy arose when the alternative plans were made public in April, and Hinds said he's heard from groups that support myriad uses for the beach, ranging from a nude beach to allowing no public use of the shoreline.

The public will be invited to give its input before decision-making begins in the late summer or early fall.

Hinds said the decision will consider wildlife first, "because that's what the refuge is here for." Sea level rise and climate change will also be "weighed very heavily," he said.

"There is no plan in place at this time, should the parking lots get washed away, to shuttle people out to the beach," Hinds said.

"My fear is that the economy of the town of Chincoteague is tied ... to the recreational beach and people's ability to reach the beach."

How long the new parking lots will last is at the mercy of Mother Nature.

"It's on a wing and a prayer," said Hinds.