Synchronous Firefly Lottery Begins – Great Smoky Mountains

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Synchronous Fireflies Light Up The Smoky Mountains

This fascinating event takes place only once a year in a beautiful section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Every Spring fireflies gather in mass in a small section of the mountains just a short drive from the bustle and excitement of downtown Gatlinburg. Thousands of lightning bugs put on a display that can only be described as magical. Imagine looking into the forest and seeing the twinkling of stars, not light-years away but sometimes even within arms-length.

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Love brings them together!

Spring kicks off the mating season for these bright little bugs. They gather in tight groups and light up as part of their mating display. Each species of firefly has it’s own characteristic flash pattern that helps its male and female recognize each other. Most species produce a greenish-yellow light as commonly seen during summer; one species has a bluish light that is less common but very awesome to see. The females usually stay stationary while the males fly and flash. The females respond with a flash to interesting male counterparts. Peak flashing for synchronous fireflies in the park is normally within a two-week period in late May to mid-June.


How Can You See This Event?

While this is one of the Smoky Mountains most popular yearly events, it is not an open admission event. In an effort to protect the largest firefly population in the Western Hemisphere, the National Park Service administers a lottery system for tickets each year. Don’t be discourage though, you can enter the lottery with a good chance of getting an admission ticket to this must see show by Mother Nature. Click here: Synchronous Firefly Lottery and follow the directions. The Synchronous Firefly Lottery begins April 26, 2019. You can also gather a good amount of information regarding how to enter, drawing dates and parking information here: Synchronous Firefly Information


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When Does This Happen?

This spectacular show by nature is estimated to take place from May 30th to June 6th for 2019. The lottery opens up April 26, 2019 to enter for a chance to win admission.


Important Dates:

  • Lottery Opens: April 26, 2019 at 8:00am EST
  • Lottery Closes: April 29, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
  • Results Announced: May 10, 2019
  • Firefly Dates: May 30 – June 6, 2019