The planning for the 9th Annual PA Firefly Festival is underway. We have new people and new ideas to help make the "New Normal" a reality. We want to officially announce our three new PAFF Board members: Matt Miskie, Jennifer Moore and Sarah Lower, Ph.D. Matt is a professional musician and has been part of every PAFF musical line-up since 2013. As usual, he will be sharing his musical talents and audio technical expertise to our festivities by providing not only entertainment to the audience, but posting the concert to Facebook Live for the virtual audience. Jennifer Moore is a DCNR State Park Educator for Chapman Dam State Park, and has also been a contributor to the festival as a Nature Center Exhibitor. Jen will be helping with the Nature Center Exhibits and Children's Activities at the festival events. Sarah Lower, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Bucknell University in the Biology Department. Sarah was part of the original research team that came to Kellettville in 2012 to identify the Synchronous Fireflies in the Allegheny National Forest and has since returned to several PA Firefly Festivals. Sarah is bringing students from Bucknell to study fireflies in Kellettville this summer and they will all be participating in the Nature Exhibits at the festival events.
Our next new person is our Summer Research Intern, Caitlin Ball. Caitlin is currently a Junior at Tufts University majoring in Biology with a minor in Geoscience. She is from Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Caitlin will be working for 6 weeks (or more) in Kellettville and Forest County doing research on the local fireflies and helping with the various firefly seasonal events including Glow & Know Campouts and the PA Firefly Festival events.
To say the least, this past year has been challenging for everyone. We tried to turn the challenge into a learning opportunity. Last year's festival became a Virtual Stay-At-Home festival that required us to learn new computer skills and adapt to the constraints of Social Distancing and the wearing of facemasks. Now we know how to safely have an in-person festival and provide small intimate firefly tours. Above all, we learned that the demand to see fireflies is still great and that the public is willing to support a new approach to the PA Firefly Festival.
This year, the PA Firefly Festival will run for two nights Friday, June 25 AND Saturday, June 26. The registration is $30 per person and limited to 50 people per night. The events will now start at 7:00 pm until 12-midnight. Music, Nature Exhibits, Firefly Experts, Presentations and Firefly Tours are all included. Online registration will open May 1st.
Additionally, PAFF is also sponsoring 4 unique camping experiences. The Glow & Know Campouts became very popular last year, so we're offering 4 separate events at sites where Synchronous Fireflies can be found:
- Glow & Know at Scarlett Knob in Ohiopyle on Wednesday, June 9
- Glow & Know at Camp Lutherlyn in Butler County, Saturday, June 19
- Glow & Know at Kellettville Campground, Forest County, Wednesday, June 23
- Glow & Know at Chapman Dam State Park, Warren County, Wednesday, June 30