Where is the PAFF?

The Annual PA Firefly Festival takes place on the grounds of the Black Caddis Ranch B & B in Kellettville, just 15 miles east of Tionesta on Route 666. The address is 13558 Route 666, Tionesta, Pa 16353.

Monday, February 13, 2017

PAFF is providing an opportunity for lodging and campground owners or any Forest County business who have a special interest in learning more about the fireflies.  We are expecting a big increase in eco-tourism this June to the Forest county area due to the attraction of the humble little "lightning bug".  These tourists will be looking for everything from overnight accommodations and meals to fuel and flashlights.  If you are a business owner and want to learn how you can attract more of these visitors to your business, you are welcome to join us on March 8 at the Mt. Zion Lutheran Church on German Hill in Tionesta for a Potluck and educational program.  Bring a dish or dessert to share and call 814-230-2035 for more information and to RSVP.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Six months and counting!

The Holidays are over and the countdown begins for the 5th Annual PAFF.  We have already started planning and a lot of changes are in store.

  • Parking area has been expanded and a $5 per car donation will be collected
  • Pre-registration for the free ticketed firefly walks will be required
  • VIP packages for guided interpretive walks will be available the night of the festival for a donation to PAFF
  • Due to the festival's popularity, we have discontinued on-site camping. We are working on a local alternative
  • Nightly guided walks will be available starting June 16 - July 1 for a donation to PAFF
Our goal this year is to preserve both the firefly habitat and the observer's experience.  We hope that through enacting some limits, we will help to control the crowds while protecting the firefly habitats in our area.  We appreciate your enthusiasm and hope you will cooperate with us in following the new procedures.

We will keep you informed of all the details and the firefly activity as we get closer to June.  Check the website pafireflyfestival.org or the Facebook page.  You can also register to receive the PAFF newsletter by subscribing on the website.







Wednesday, June 29, 2016

4th Annual PA Firefly Festival HUGE Success!!!

Thanks to great weather, a dedicated group of volunteers, and visitors from all over the globe, the 4th annual PA Firefly Festival on June 25th was a record-breaking event! Over 1,100 firefly enthusiasts showed up in Kellettville, enjoying lively local music and food truck fare by day, and taking adventuresome night walks to observe fireflies after dusk, along Tionesta Creek and into the nearby  Allegheny National Forest by special permit. Some visitors at this year's festival came from as far away as Brazil, Spain, Australia, China, Puerto Rico, South Africa and the UK to see the synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus). The US were well represented by 11 different states.

Local interest is running high, too, and the PA Firefly Festival board is considering having a "locals only" night for residents next year, on a midweek night, weather permitting.  Residents may not want to compete with big tourist crowds on a busy summer weekend. If you think this is a good idea, let PAFF know you want to join the local Friends of Fireflies group for special access programming.

The PA Firefly Festival group is a local nonprofit with an educational and scientific mission, but they know how to have a good time, too! The free family festival is a fun way to celebrate the short 2-week season in June  and help people appreciate the amazing diversity of firefly species in and around the Allegheny National Forest and the surrounding region.

"What's not to like about fireflies?" is a commonly expressed feeling about these intriguing beetles that evoke fond childhood memories of warm summer nights and backyard fun.  At the firefly Nature Center, set up for the day of the festival only, people can learn about fireflies and their habitat, and about the local public lands, forests and parks represented among exhibitors.  Also featured in the fun annual celebration are local vendors who sell their wares,  and hands-on science and craft activities for kids of all ages.

Synchronous fireflies are a big attraction! They come out very late - between 10:30pm until after midnight - and prefer forested areas with nearby water, and border areas between meadow and woods. Their peak season only lasts a couple of weeks so don't delay if you want to see them. This year they started to emerge around June 20th.
Many other brilliant and beautiful fireflies can be found along much of the length of Tionesta Creek, and at ANF recreation areas such as Hearts Content, Beaver Meadows, Loleta and Buzzard Swamp.  There are dazzling shows in many locations in our area! 

For more info about fireflies, visit pafirefestival.org or look around in your local area for firefly populations near home.
And if you missed the festival this year, it's always held on the 4th Saturday in June.



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Come get your "Light ON"!

We are seeing good synchronous firefly activity this week leading up to the festival this Saturday.  The night time temperatures are rising and perfect for emerging adult fireflies.  We have noticed more fireflies emerging earlier around 9:30pm. Synchronous displays don't start until well after 10pm.  If you are in the Kellettville area or camping in the Allegheny National Forest, you should get out this week and look for them.  Please feel free, to comment and post here or on our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PAFireflyFestival/?ref=bookmarks or Twitter https://twitter.com/PaFirefly pages any sightings and observations.  We would love to hear from you about your experience.

The festival is gearing up for our 4th Annual PA Firefly Festival next Saturday, June 25 from noon to midnight.  Come for the music, food and fun during the day, and stay for the firefly shows after 10pm.  You will learn a lot about the diversity and importance of fireflies in the ANF. FREE Parking is available on the grounds of the Black Caddis Ranch B&B.  The weather is predicted to be good, and we are expecting crowds.  Be sure to bring your camp chairs, wear sturdy shoes or boots (no flip-flops or ballet slippers) and long pants and long sleeves for the firefly walks.

New this year, the Tionesta Lions Club will be serving a Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, morning 7-10am to campers and residents.  The proceeds benefit the Forest County Relay for Life, so come eat breakfast before you break camp.

Monday, May 16, 2016

6 Weeks to Go!

We had a very productive meeting yesterday.  Lots of details to cover between now and the festival.

The biggest item is the Volunteer Training on Saturday, June 18 at 8:00 pm.  This is open to anyone interested in helping to lead the interpretive walks the night of the event.  We will provide you with all the information you need and you will get an early opportunity to go out and look for fireflies.  Meet at the Black Caddis Ranch and come prepared to hike into the forest after sunset.  Can't make the 6/18 training?  We will be happy to give you a crash course the day of the festival too, so find a PAFF member at the festival and get registered.

We are also looking for local firefly monitors to watch and report on sightings of fireflies throughout the Allegheny National Forest in the weeks and days leading up to the festival on June 25.  You are welcome to post your sightings and observations on our Facebook or Twitter pages.   If you are willing to be either a volunteer firefly interpretive guide the night of the festival or a firefly monitor contact us at pafireflyfestival@gmail.com.