KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The annual synchronous firefly viewing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will happen this year, but in a slightly different form.
According to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s fireflies website, the plan is for a “modified” event. Details on what that means are expected to be released before the end of the month..
“We plan to release our operational plan by Tuesday, April 27,” park spokesperson Dana Soehn said. “Our team is busily working to flesh out a plan for access that is in alignment with CDC guidance and federal protocols for outdoor gatherings.”
The park offers a shuttle service to the Elkmont Campground area to view the insects display within a two-week period in late May to mid-June. The park was unable to host the viewing event last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fireflies, Photinus carolinus, are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in the park. Their light pattern is part of their mating display.
Tickets for the viewing are given out through a lottery system. Winners are notified and park at the Sugarlands Visitor Center to board a shuttle to the campground to cut down on traffic and vehicle impact.