Nonprofit’s synchronous firefly event to be held ‘with COVID-19 modifications’ on private site

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – An educational nonprofit said Tuesday it plans to hold a synchronous firefly event, but “with COVID-19 modifications.”

The National Park had canceled its annual synchronous firefly viewing event this summer due to concerns over COVID-19, but other viewing events are still offering the opportunity to see the exciting natural phenomenon.

Discover Life in America (DLiA), a nonprofit in Sevier County focused on recording the biodiversity in the area, announced on Tuesday it will hold its annual firefly themed fundraising event at the end of May.

The event will be held with several modifications due to the pandemic, including limited attendance and mask requirements; other changes include checking guests for COVID-19-like symptoms, social distancing, and an altered schedule for the evening. Also, new this year, no food or drink will be served at the event, but ticket holders will receive a gift certificate for a local restaurant.

The viewings will be held at Norton Creek Sanctuary, a private property next to the park on May 29, 30 and 31 from 7 – 9 p.m.

To view ticket purchasing options and more information regarding the COVID-19 modifications for the event, visit Discover Life in America’s website.

For those that are unable to make this in-person event, DLiA also plans to host a free virtual fireflies event on YouTube at 8 p.m. on Monday. Details for this event will follow soon on dlia.org and Facebook.

Note that this is a private fundraising event, held at a private reserve adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is not associated with the Park or its synchronous firefly lottery at Elkmont.

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