BALTIMORE (WJZ)–For the 91st straight year, ponies swim across the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague , as thousands of spectators cheer them on.

“They love to swim,” Roe Terry, with the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department, tells WBOC. “We’re clapping our hands, making a lot of noise. Just to keep them on straight.”

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Thousands of spectators crowd around the Chincoteague ponies–the excitement is infectious.

“I just love the excitement in the crowd. To see the expressions on everybody’s faces as they watch the ponies come across the shore,” said Paige Klein.

For so many, it’s a can’t miss event.

“It’s just amazing. And you won’t find anything like this, anywhere else in the world,” said Lisa Sapon.

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Once on land, the herd gets a short-rest, then it’s time for the parade down Main Street.

The ponies will be sold at an auction to benefit the local fire department.

“We wait all year long. It just makes everything worthwhile and it’s the main fundraiser we have to raise money for the new fire station we’re building,” said Terry.

But the memories are free.

“Beyond our expectations, it’s just magical to come here and experience,” said one spectator.

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The ponies will be sold at auction Friday beginning at 8:00 a.m.