Firefly viewing begins Thursday in Smokies

Firefly viewing begins Thursday in Smokies

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GATLINBURG (WATE) - Park officials in the Smokies are kicking off a popular summer attraction.

The Elkmont Firefly Viewing starts Thursday and runs through June 13.

Thousands of visitors gather each summer near the Elkmont Campground to observe the naturally occurring phenomenon of Photinus carolinus, a firefly species that flashes synchronously.

Parking pass sales began on April 29 and all passes were sold out by the end of the day.

An additional 85 "Day Before" parking passes will go on sale at 10 a.m. the day before each of the eight days of the event and can be purchased on Recreation.gov.

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