Virtual Synchronous firefly event to be held Monday, June 1, 2020. Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont Campground to observe the naturally occurring phenomenon of Photinus carolinus, a firefly species that flashes synchronously. Since 2006, access to the Elkmont area has been limited to shuttle service beginning awarded via lottery beginning at Sugarlands Visitor Center during the eight days of predicted peak activity in order to reduce traffic congestion and provide a safe viewing experience for visitors that minimizes disturbance to these unique fireflies during the critical two-week mating period.
Unfortunately, this year’s lottery was canceled due to the new coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see the fireflies. Discover Life in America, a nonprofit that aims to identify and record every species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is partnering with firefly photographer Radim Schreiber to live stream the event.
Tune in on June 1 at 8 p.m. EST on Youtube to see the famous synchronous firefly light show, as well as other species of fireflies native to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, including ones known as blue ghosts. The free event will start with a short presentation about fireflies, then show footage of the amazing display they create. Even if you don’t live near the Smokies region, it’s a great opportunity to see synchronous fireflies all flashing together.