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, July 14, 2014

Time Lapse

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7bMkxiti8QxTXdydGVtUmktbnc/edit Here's a Time-lapsed video that Sam and Justin made of the field during the music festival.

2014 Festival Photos








Here are some photos from this year's festival. 

FYI, the synchronous firefly season has officially ended here in Kellettville.  We saw a dozen or so the weekend of the July 5th, but by that Tuesday night there were none.  We are still seeing the common fireflies in the fields and trees, and they are putting on a great show in the fields around Tionesta after 9:00 pm.  

We are already planning for next year's 3rd Annual PAFF on the 4th Saturday in June, 2015.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Glowing SUCCESS!!

The weekend was a big SUCCESS!  We couldn't have asked for better weather.  The registered attendance was  522. The late comers brings the estimated attendance to at least 600.  We sold out all the adult Large, XL and 2X t-shirts, and the donations kept coming in.  We had 24 tents, and 2 full cabins.  The music was fantastic and very entertaining.  The variety of food and drinks satisfied all the appetites, and the arts & craft vendors added some fun unique items.   The grand finale' was the fireflies themselves, and they put on quite a show for those willing to venture into the dark forest late at night.

Sunday morning clean-up was surprisingly easy, because everyone picked-up after themselves.  There was virtually NO LITTER left behind in the field or lawn.  We are so impressed by the attendees thoughtful courtesy and stewardship of the area.   We hope you will join us next year at the 3rd Annual PAFF on the 4th Saturday in June.

We will  have some photos and video to post soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Countdown Is ON!

7 days left.  The fireflies are synchronizing right now.  We've been going out into the camp and on the bridge this weekend.  We've witnessed synchronous displays, Chinese Lanterns and Fast Fives in all locations.

The word is spreading quickly, and we've had some nice articles and radio interviews creating a real buzz.  We can't wait to see what all this does for the festival.  We've had a couple more food vendors and arts & crafters join the ranks as well.

http://www.post-gazette.com/life/travel/2014/06/22/At-Firefly-Festival-near-Tionesta-thousands-of-bugs-will-be-blinking-in-sync/stories/2014061101

http://www.wesb.com/listen/


 http://www.alleghenyfront.org/story/fireflies-give-brilliant-show-allegheny-national-forest


Please note: the Allegheny National Forest is considered a wilderness area.  Your participation in the activities at the festival are at your own risk.

  • You will be in areas that are not readily accessible, and require some level of physical strength and ability.  If you have physical limitations, let us know when you arrive, so that we can try to provide some access accommodations.   
  • If you have young children, please keep them close, and well supervised, especially around the creeks and after dark. 
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times and under control.  Dog owners are responsible for picking up and disposing of any excrement.  Excessive barking or loose dogs will be asked to leave.
  • Please, use the trash boxes provided for all litter.
  • Be sure to bring a lawn/camp chair, dress appropriately for the weather and hiking.  Sunscreen and bug spray are highly recommended.  



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

We are a GLOW!!

Despite the recent flash flood in the Kelletville area, we will be ready for the festival.  Route 666 did get washed out in a number of spots east of the Black Caddis Ranch.  Don't worry, we are OPEN and accessible from the west end of Route 666 in East Hickory (see the directions and alternate routes to the left).

The good news is: we are getting reports of the start of Synchronous firefly activity.  The mGDDs are climbing, and this means we are on track for a peak the week of the festival.  Some of the soft signs include the blooming of crown vetch.  We have buds on the day lilies and the blueberries are weeks away from ripening.  This late spring has been good for our plans to have the festival a week later.

Give us a call at 814-463-7606 or contact us at pafireflyfestival@gmail.com for more information.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Entomologist on board

Three weeks to go, and we are pleased to announce Dr. Denise Piechnik from Pitt-Bradford will be here as our resident festival entomologist this year to help us learn about insects and fireflies.  We have started to see some intermittent fireflies in the field.  These are not Synchronous, and we have not seen any sign of them in the forest.  We will let you know if and when we do.  We are tracking the   mGDDs*, and the trend seems to be tracking for a peak just in time for the festival.  YEAH!!!

We are getting calls daily for campsites.  If you are geared up for tent camping, you are welcome to stay here on-site for a nominal fee.  We just need to have an idea of how many, so please call to reserve your site.  If you have a large RV, the Kellettville Campground has limited sites available on a first-come basis.  If you don't mind a longer drive, (and Kellettville is full), I highly recommend Chapman Dam State Park campground.  It is located outside of Clarendon off of Route 6, between Warren and Sheffield and is about a 45 minute drive from Kellettville.  You can make reservations for their sites, and there are probably fireflies there too.

We have a lot planned for the day to keep kids of all ages entertained and informed.  When you register you will get a ticket for door prize drawings, and you can watch videos on fireflies this year in the home-theater in the basement of the B&B.  Please, register to be an official Firefly Watcher at the Museum of Science website to support the Firefly Watch Citizens Science Project.  We have plans for art projects for kids, story readings, haiku writing contests, geocaching, face-painting and games.  We have 2014 T-shirts in Youth and Adult sizes and blue flashlights on sale.  We've also added UVGlosticks and UVO Necklaces for sale.  These glow-in-the dark items are completely solar powered and infinitely rechargeable.  We also have a limited number of last year's inaugural T-shirt for all of you collectors.  All proceeds from sales go to the PAFF to offset costs and build for next year's festival.

There will be food and beverages available from 12-8pm this year.  We have the SWAT youth group hot dog sale, 12-4; St. Anthony's Women's Guild strawberry shortcake sale, 12-4; Wild Hogs lemonade/iced tea, 12-8, Heaven's Loving Hands Puppet Ministry soda pop, 12-8; Liberty Tax popcorn sale, 12-8, Deck the Halls Catering dinner special, 4-8, and Everything Turkey Farm turkey jerky, 12-8.

The Music starts at 12-noon with Grace Church from Medina, Ohio; at 1:00, Joyful Noise, at 2:00, Front Porch Folk from Oil City; at 3:00, Dominick DeCecco from Endeavor; at 4:00, Reunion; at 5:00 Stony & Co.; at 6:00, Broke, Stranded & Ugly, from Pittsburgh, and finally at 7:00, The Hills and The Rivers from Pittsburgh.  After the music, we will gather for a Campfire presentation on how to best observe the fireflies, and begin to disperse to the areas for viewing.

Please, come well prepared to walk in the forest at night.  Dress appropriately for the weather and walking on uneven ground.  If you have physical limitations and need help, let us know, and we will try to make some accommodations for you to access the areas as closely as possible. Local residents may want to bring a camp chair to provide seating during the music fest or in the forest for firefly viewing.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Prediction of Fireflies

Lots of people are calling now to see if I can tell them whether or not there will be fireflies during the festival.  Of course I can't guarantee that we will have fireflies, but can only rely on our past experience (which is limited to the last 2 years), and hope that the weather and nature cooperate.  Here are some prognostic indicators on which we are relying to help us determine the peak nights.  We can only pray that it will coincide with the festival on June 28.  The first scientific/technical indicator is the modified Growing Degree Days reported by the Climate Prediction Center and National Weather Service.  The mGDDs are reported weekly starting March 1.  The closest station to Kellettville/ANF is the Bradford station. The scientists with Lynn Faust in 2012 reported that the mGDD which correlated to the synchronous fireflies was 719 mGDD-1200 mGDD with the peak nights between 815-1100 mGDD. As of May 24, we are at 333 mGDD.  I will continue to update this information weekly until the festival.

We are also looking for some of the "soft" signs of the local flora and fauna.  Lynn noted in her 2012 report the following observances: blooming of purple flowering raspberry, crown vetch, milkweed and daylillies; the ripening of wild red raspberry and domestic blueberries, and the mating of Japanese beetles.  We are noting a little bit of a late "spring" in this area with regards to blooming and vegetation, but overall a gradual spring.  You may want to start watching for these signs in your areas.

While we are hopeful that all the "planets will align" and provide the optimal conditions for a peak of the synchronous firefly activity on June 28, we will be here to celebrate regardless, and hope you will join us.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 31 Planning Meeting

With a little over 6 weeks to go before our 2nd Annual Festival, things are shaping up nicely. We have 7 confirmed music groups including: Front Porch Folk; The Hills and Rivers; Broke, Stranded & Ugly; Stoney and Friends; Joyful Noise and others.  We are thankful to report the St Anthony's Women's Guild will be selling strawberry shortcake during the early afternoon, and the Deck the Halls catering will be serving a beef sandwich in the later afternoon.  We have a new T-shirt design to vote on at the next meeting and will be ordering those the first week of June.  The Sponsor list is growing including: The Allegheny Valley Development, First United Bank of Fryburg, Dan and Jennifer Miller and Ken and Peggy Butler.  With these donations we hope to provide the sanitation facilities, glow sticks and T-shirts.

The latest stretch of warm weather has really helped to green-up the valley, but has concerned me that it may also bring about the emergence of fireflies.  I have noticed several of the dinural (daytime) varieties during the day this week, but have not seen any flashing yet.  I hope that this forecasted cool down for the next week will bring back more seasonal temperatures that will prevent any premature emergence of Fireflies.  We will keep you posted as soon as we start to notice activity.

I have been getting calls daily about accommodations.  We have 2 cabins still available and I am taking reservations for the tent and pop-up sites here on the grounds.  Other members of the PAFF and ADP are planning on camping in the Branch Creek area along the North Country Trail sites and the Kellettville Campgrounds.  

Our next planning meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 31 at 4:00 PM, here at Black Caddis Ranch. Anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to attend.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April Planning Meeting Friday 4/25

This month's meeting is going to start at 10:00 am.  The early meeting time is to accommodate the busy schedules of our board members.  If you have items or information to share, but can't make the early daytime meeting, let me know, and we could attempt an internet connection.

We have a growing list of music groups and exhibitors.  Still looking for more arts and craft vendors, so contact us if you are interested.

We are now registered as an official Firefly Watch site for the Citizen Science Project sponsored by the Museum of Science in Boston https://legacy.mos.org/fireflywatch/sign_up.  You can register as well and become an official Firefly monitor.  Join the fun and learn more at the festival on how to observe and protect the firefly.

Don't forget we are on Facebook and we want to use the social media to spread the word.  I'm challenging Friends to get our "Likes" to over 500 by the Festival.  We would also like to know if you're planning on attending, so be sure to let us know.

The spring weather is getting me so excited for the upcoming season of fireflies. We only have 2 months to go.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

March Planning Meeting

Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 28 at 1:00 pm at the Black Caddis Ranch B & B.

If anyone interested in becoming a Festival Sponsor or Firefly Friend please contact me at pafireflyfestival@gmail.com. We need funds to provide basic services to the visitors.  We want to keep this a FREE family-friendly event, so your support would be much appreciated.

Anyone interested in volunteering, exhibiting, performing or serving food should also contact us, so we can add you to our list.

The blog has a new refreshed look with more information about the fireflies and the festival.  Let us know what you think.

We have our blue flashlights ready for the festival thanks to Bill and John.  We will soon have this year's posters ready to distribute, and working on a brochure to put in the Visitors Center and Marienville Ranger Station.   We will soon have a new T-shirt design and will  keep you posted.

With just 4 months left, we are going to busy getting everything organized.  Did I mention we need sponsors and volunteers?  Let us know if you're interested.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February Planning Meeting

Listen to our radio interview on 1490 am WESB Bradford.  http://www.wesb.com/onair/aroundthehome/

Our next planning meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 28 at Black Caddis Ranch.  On the agenda are the committee reports with regards to fund raising, music, vendors, advertising, facilities, camping, monitoring, kids' activities, environmental education and volunteers.  We are looking for sponsors and representation from associated interest groups including, (but not limited to) Allegheny Defense Project, Allegany State Park, Trout Unlimited, Sierra Club, North Country Trail, Patagonia, community organizations and local sportsmen's clubs.  If you are interested in joining us for the meetings and helping with the festival please contact Peggy Butler at 814-463-7606.

We will continue to update the blog monthly, (and more frequently as we get closer) with all the information we can provide.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

First meeting, Saturday, January 25 at 3:00 pm at Black Caddis Ranch B & B

Our first meeting of the PA Firefly Festival Partnership is scheduled for next Saturday, January 25, 2014.  We will be discussing our new licensing of our name, and securing our Not-for-profit status. Anyone interested in planning the festivities for this year's Synchronous Firefly season is welcome to attend the meeting at the Black Caddis Ranch.  We have an inaugural board, but we need committee chairs to take on tasks such as food, t-shirts, vendors and music, etc.  June seems very far away, but we know from last year how fast the time goes.

Be sure to contact us using the new e-mail address pafireflyfestival@gmail.com, and check out the Facebook page for updates and photos also.