Schedule of Events
Come for the day...
The PA Firefly Festival offers a whole day of fun before it gets dark! Between Noon and 10 pm, you can experience educational exhibits, shop local arts and crafts, enjoy live entertainment and food and participate in fun activities for the kids.
If you are coming for the day, we suggest you dress appropriately for the weather Rain or Shine! Don't forget your sunscreen or rain gear! A portable camp chair is a must to give you seating for the music. You may want to bring a picnic or beverages, but there will be food vendors on site. Absolutely no alcohol or drugs are permitted on site; use or possession will be grounds for expulsion from the event.
The Gates open at Noon; parking is $5 per car. Proceeds benefit the Amvets Post #113
FREE Live music starting at noon. Sponsored by the J. Bowman Proper Trust
Art and Craft Sales, 12-5 pm; Food Vendors and more 12-9 pm
"Art After Dark" dusk to midnight sponsored by the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, Elk County Council on the Arts
The firefly viewing opportunities range from the free self-guided public viewing area to Firefly Guided Tours and the VIP immersive firefly experience. Online registration for the guided tours will begin May 1st. Stay tuned to this website or Facebook for the links to register online. Subscribers to the Newsletter will receive an advanced email notification.
Firefly Guided Tours and
the VIP Synchronous Firefly Experience
ONLINE FIREFLY TOUR REGISTRATION OPENS MAY 1, 2020 (link opens on 5/1/2020):
We are offering six Guided Firefly Tours and a VIP Synchronous Firefly Experience. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED for all guided tours. Space is limited to minimize the impact on the habitat and ensure the optimum experience for visitors. All tickets/wristbands are Will-Call, so no need to print anything. Pick up your wristband upon arrival at the festival or by 8:00 PM at the Registration Tent. Unclaimed wristbands will be surrendered to Standby guests when registration closes.
On-site registration for open/unsold spaces begins at 12-noon on June 27. The Standby line opens at 8:30 pm. UNREGISTERED guests may also view fireflies for FREE at the designated public viewing area.
ALL the proceeds from the registration fees benefit PAFF and are used to pay the guides, fund educational programs and summer research interns. ALL SALES are FINAL. NO REFUNDS or RAINCHECKS. However, your registration is transferrable.**
GUIDED FIREFLY TOURS:
There will be 6 tour times offered. The guided tour is $10 per person (+ processing fees). The walking tours are a full 2.5-mile, 90-minute round trip,* to see both habitats of creek fireflies and the Synchronous Firefly viewing in the forest. Along the way, guides will point out multiple species, flash patterns, behaviors and firefly conservation etiquette. This is recommended for all ages (Pre-K to Gray). However, those with young children should opt for the earliest trip possible. The first of the six tours depart at 9:15 pm and the last tour leaves at 10:30 pm. Be sure to choose a single tour time that best suits you and your party's needs.
VIP SYNCHRONOUS FIREFLY EXPERIENCE:
This option is $30 per person (+ processing fees). The VIP is limited to thirty (30) of the MOST serious and reverent firefly watchers. Registered VIPs will be guided to a secluded synchronous firefly viewing area in the Allegheny National Forest, and will have a private interpretive guide.
This year, VIPs will be offered a Bluetooth earpiece audio system, so the guide can easily provide information directly to each VIP without disturbing the peace and quiet of the forest habitat. VIPs will need to supply a driver's license or ID as a deposit to check-out the earpiece for the duration of the walk. This is a one-mile walk*, round trip into the Forest on a snowmobile trail. This is not intended for children under 12-years-old. The VIP Synchronous Firefly Experience is presented in the Allegheny National Forest by a USDA Special Use Permit.
*All of the above tour options are relatively easy walks for typically able-bodied persons. If you have any mobility issues, we will do our best to accommodate your needs or make recommendations for alternatives that will allow you to see the fireflies. Contact us or let us know when you arrive at registration.
The PA Firefly Festival is a rain-or-shine event. Fireflies are especially sensitive to nighttime temperatures, and if the temperatures fall below 60 degrees, they do not fly. This event and programs are subject to cancellation in the event of severe weather or threats to public safety. ** There are no refunds or rain checks for this event. However, your registration is transferrable, so should you be unable to attend, you may send a friend or family member in your place. Just have them check-in with your name.
ALL guests should be prepared for 1.5 to 2 hours of engagement IN THE FOREST. Dress appropriately for the weather. Sturdy footwear and walking sticks are highly recommended. Flashlights are not required nor necessary, but if used, they must be covered by a dark red filter (available on-site). No cell phones, photography, smoking/vaping or pets will be permitted on any of the guided tours. Only Service Dogs are permitted on the tours.
PAFF is a registered 501(c)3 whose all-volunteer board's mission is to educate the public and raise awareness about all the firefly species in NW Pennsylvania.
Need a place to stay overnight? We've assembled a list of area lodging HERE for your convenience. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Art After Dark
Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts grant. Our firefly friend, Mr. Ibiyinka Alao will be returning to take part in the Art After Dark. He will be asking visitors to share or write about their firefly stories. The Art After Dark tent 10 pm-12-midnight. will feature performances and an art show with luminescent features. Interested performers or artists may apply at this link.