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Celebration of Fireflies

June 7th, 2020 - June 9th, 2020

Townsend TN upcoming events: Celebration of Fireflies


The synchronized lightning bugs are one of the more unique adventures in the world! Join us along with the Smoky Mountain Guides for a once in a lifetime GSM Firefly experience! Private shuttle takes guests to the Spence cabin in Elkmont, dinner and drinks and firefly conversation included!

Indulge in wine & beer, passed hors d'oeuvres, and plated dinner inside a beautiful historic home within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

As darkness falls, our Smoky Mountain Guide will explain the significance of this phenomenon, as we watch in wonderment at this annual spectacle of nature.

Viewing & Accommodation Packages: 

VIP Viewing Package includes the dinner & viewing event, or enjoy luxury cabin accommodations with an overnight stay at the blissful Dancing Bear Lodge.

Accommodation + Viewing Package Include:

  • Commemorative welcome gift
  • One night stay at Dancing Bear Lodge in a luxury cabin for 2
  • Complimentary shuttle to the park
  • Wine & beer, passed hors d'oeuvre and plated dinner
  • Hot breakfast at Dancing Bear Lodge
  • Late checkout

2019 Celebration of Fireflies

One of the most magical exhibits seen in nature, there's no better way to experience the Great Smoky Mountains than during your Synchronous Fireflies excursion. With accommodation and dining packages, reserve your overnight stay at Dancing Bear for the best of all hotel and cabin amenities on one amazing property. 

A lottery to purchase Firefly tickets is open. Check here for FAQ's regarding the lottery selection process and associated fees. 

Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns.

Their light patterns are part of their mating display. Each species of firefly has a characteristic flash pattern that helps its male and female individuals recognize each other. Most species produce a greenish-yellow light; one species has a bluish light. The males fly and flash and the usually stationary females respond with a flash. Peak flashing for synchronous fireflies in the park is normally within a two-week period in late May to mid-June.

Timing of the Display

The mating season lasts for approximately two weeks each year. The dates that the fireflies begin to display varies from year to year-scientists haven't figured out why, but it depends at least in part on temperature and soil moisture. It's impossible to predict in advance exactly when the insects will begin flashing each year.

As the season begins, a few insects start flashing, then more join the display as the days pass. They reach a "peak" when the greatest number of insects are displaying. After peak, the numbers gradually decline each day until the mating season is over. Since 1993, this peak date has occurred at various times from the third week of May to the third week in June.

For more information on the Synchronous Fireflies, click here

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