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. PARKING $5 donation, proceeds benefit PAFF and AmVets post 113.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summer's Dazzling Gift

The 2015 firefly season has officially begun.  We started noticing minimal firefly activity on Memorial day weekend, but this past weekend the activity was undeniable.  We saw hundreds in the Black Caddis Ranch field this weekend of all different varieties, between 5-7 different flash patterns and 2-3 color variations.  We saw some synchronous activity on the fringes of the field and trees.  The forest remains comparably quiet.  Perhaps the temperatures are too cool under the trees.  We will keep you posted as things progress, but suffice it to say, that if the trend continues as it has in the past 3 years, we should see peak synchronous activity in the forest by the festival week.

We encourage you to go out at night in your own backyards or neighborhoods to observe the firefly activity for the next week to 2 weeks.  You should try to eliminate all lights possible, wear long sleeves and pants,  if you need to wear bug spray, don't handle the lightning bugs, and bring your patience.  You may need to sit and wait until 11:00 pm to see all the different species.

If you are coming for the day of music and festival activities, please bring a lawn chair, wear sunscreen and plan on eating here!  We have 3 different food trucks coming offering an international menu of gyros, burgers, hot dogs, tacos and Cuban sandwiches.  You should also bring your wallets so you can shop at the arts/crafts vendors, and of course we will have PAFF merchandise on sale.  All the PAFF proceeds go to support the musicians, presenters and sanitation services.  Remember this is a family-friendly, alcohol and drug free event.

We have activities for kids and families all day. Seven different forest naturalists will be here and our resident entomologist, Dr Denise Piechnik is going to return, they have exhibits and activities for children of all ages to learn more about the fireflies and the habitats.

The music schedule for the day is as follows:
12:30 - Joyful Noise
1:30 - Detention
2:30-The Uriah Effect
3:30 - Matt Miskie
4:30 - Stoney & Co.
5:30 - Dominick DeCecco
6:30 - Broke Stranded & Ugly
7:30 - The Hills & The Rivers

If you are coming for the firefly walks/watch, be prepared for a late evening in the forest.  We are offering 8 different organized firefly walks in a variety of habitats throughout the Kellettville area and out into the Allegheny National Forest.  The walks range in length and ability.  Some locations are remote and require driving as far as 10 miles on Forest Roads.   We are asking firefly hunters to sign-up at the PAFF registration table for one of those that interest you the most.  We recommend wearing long sleeves/pants, sturdy waterproof shoes or muck boots, bring a folding camp chair, if you wear bug spray, put it on before you leave for the hikes, and don't handle the bugs.  You should use a flashlight that either has a blue or red filter.  Use your flashlight sparingly; only when you are walking and shine it directly on the ground.  If you turn-off your lights and let your eyes adjust to the darkness, you will be amazed at how well you will be able to see.   Most of all bring your patience.  The fireflies do not have on/off switches.  The organizers of the festival make no guarantees or promises that you will see fireflies or synchronous fireflies.  This is a naturally occurring phenomenon, there are a lot of variables that can affect these animals, and sometimes nature does its own thing on its own time.  Our intent for having the festival is to educate and raise awareness about the fireflies in the Allegheny National Forest.  If you learn something about fireflies, regardless of whether or not you see them on Saturday night, we have accomplished our mission.

If you would like to tent camp on the grounds of the  Black Caddis Ranch for the night of the festival, please call 814-463-7606 to make a reservation.  We are asking for a $10 donation to PAFF to cover the cost of sanitation services and water.  If you need other lodging for the evening, we suggest you make reservations at one of the motels in Tionesta or Marienville.  Look on www.Forestcounty.com for lodging information. 

The 3rd Annual PA Firefly Festival will be the biggest and best we have to date, and you don't want to miss out on all the fun.

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