When is the PA Firefly Festival?

Friday, June 25 and Saturday June 26 from 7 pm to Midnight. Subscribe to the PAFF Newsletter at Pafireflyevents.org to get early notification of the online registration links.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Planning for the "NEW NORMAL" in 2021

 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 3 unique camping experiences.  The Glow & Know Campouts became very popular last year, so we're offering 3 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
These campouts are restricted to 15 campers (not including children under 10).  Registration is $100 per camper (children under 10 are free).  Registration includes campsite fees, firewood, meals, program materials, activities and firefly presentations.  These campouts offer a complete firefly and nature immersion experience for the novice to the expert camper.  Participants can even participate in the firefly research and community science firefly watch projects.

For notifications and links to the online registration for ALL the 2021 PA Firefly Events, subscribe to our quarterly PAFF newsletter on our website pafireflyevents.org.

Although change can be hard and these restrictions might seem severe.  We know that they are necessary to sustain the PA Firefly Festival as an organization as well as protect and conserve the firefly habitats and populations in Pennsylvania.  We look forward to celebrating fireflies and providing firefly educational programs for many years to come.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Firefly Puzzle for Fun & Prizes

 Here's a Crossword Puzzle created by our PAFF Board President, Jeffrey Calta for your amusement.  Prizes will be awarded to the first 6 correct entries.  Here are the rules and links to the puzzle:

 PAFFFIREFLY CROSSWORD PUZZLE CONTEST RULES

1. CLICK HERE FOR THE CROSSWORD PUZZLE

2. CROSSWORD PUZZLE MUST BE COMPLETED ELECTRONICALLY AND EMAILED/SHARED TO JEFFREYCALTA@GMAIL.COM BY NOON, DECEMBER 14,  2020.  ONE PUZZLE/PRIZE PER HOUSEHOLD.

3. COMPLETED PUZZLES WILL BE ENTERED INTO THE CONTEST ACCORDING TO DATE AND TIME RECEIVED AT JEFFREYCALTA@GMAIL.COM


4. THE FIRST SIX (6) CORRECTLY COMPLETED PUZZLES RECEIVED (BASED ON RECEIVED DATE AND TIME) WILL WIN A 2021 FIREFLY CALENDAR PRODUCED BY AWARD-WINNING PHOTOGRAPHER RADIM SCHREIBER OF FIREFLY EXPERIENCE.ORG.

5. WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL AND ANNOUNCED IN THE 2020 WINTER EDITION OF PAFF NEWSLETTER. MAILING ADDRESS WILL BE REQUESTED FOR CALENDAR TO BE MAILED.

6. COMPLETED PUZZLES WILL BE RECEIVED UNTIL DECEMBER 10, 2020. ANY RECEIVED AFTER THIS DATE ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR PRIZES.

7. NOTE: PUZZLE CAN BE OPENED AS A MICROSOFT EXCEL and/or GOOGLE SHEETS FILE. IT IS “PROTECTED”. PLACE THE CURSOR ON EACH OPEN SQUARE. WHEN THE WHITE CROSS APPEARS, A LETTER ENTRY CAN BE MADE. 

8.  THE GOOGLE SHEET IS A SHARED DOCUMENT. YOU MUST MAKE A COPY AND ENTER YOUR ANSWERS ON THE COPY.  DO NOT ENTER THEM INTO THE ORIGINAL OR OTHERS WILL SEE YOUR ANSWERS!


Have FUN! Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Post Festival and World Firefly Day Thoughts



Once again, we at PA Firefly Festival (PAFF) have learned a lot from experiencing this "new normal" while going through the pandemic this summer.  We hope you had a chance to enjoy the firefly season in your backyards this year as much as we did.  We also learned very quickly how to creatively use technology in spite of the bandwidth limitations here in the forest.  You can still view the Virtual Stay-At-Home PA Firefly Festival on our Youtube channel.  Those videos will remain there at least until December.   Also, if you didn't get a chance to tune in that day on the Live Music on Facebook by Matt Miskie, treat yourself to a private concert.  He's an amazing talent and added a lot to both the virtual experience as a contributor to the soundtracks in the videos, as well as live music to the folks here that afternoon and those watching fireflies that night.  So, thanks again to Matt.

The fireflies also seemed to enjoy their furlough and absence of a crush of people in the forest.  We still have a lot of fireflies in the area even as the synchronous season is waning with the Full Buck Moon.  We will be watching and monitoring.  The PAFF Summer Research Intern, Ms. Valerie Kuppek from Dickinson College is continuing her work on the Kellettville waterways survey through July, and analyzing the data she's collected.  She will have a report to share by fall that should help us in future years to come.

There is one thing for sure, change is inevitable.  We never expected that a novel virus would interrupt our lives so much this year, and that many of the plans which were so painstakingly made and anticipated would be eliminated.  However, we also learned there's  A LOT we can do without, that less is more, simplicity is better, and peace and quiet is a treasure often taken for granted in this age (which fireflies already know). We are committed to our mission, and we will focus on the experience rather than numbers.  Your support and interest in fireflies are appreciated.  With your help and cooperation, PAFF will endeavor to protect the fireflies and conserve their habitat for your enjoyment and the generations to come.

Until next year, #GlowAtHome2020.
Photos by Peggy Butler, 2020

Monday, June 15, 2020

Virtual Stay-At-Home PA Firefly Festival



The FREE Virtual Stay-At-Home PA Firefly Festival will take place online on Saturday, June 27.    Starting at 6 pm EDST, go to our website pafireflyevents.org, Facebook or Youtube channel to get connected to the playlists.  You will be able to view video presentations from firefly experts and enjoy the art and music that would have been happening at our live in-person festival.  We are also going to share some videos of virtual firefly walks/viewing including safety tips and “Firefly Friendly Etiquette”.  Here's a list of what you will see that day. 
  • Art After Dark presented through a grant by the Elk County Council on the Arts and Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts
    • Art After Dark virtual art exhibition with Music by Matt Miskie and Lighted Stained Glass creations by Jeffrey Calta
    • Link to Ibiyinka Alao, United Nations Ambassador of Art, author and producer of the animated film, “My Fireflies”

  • Firefly Experts video
    • Sara Lewis, PhD, Tufts University,  “Firefly Myths” from her 2017 PAFF presentation
    • Don Salvatore, Firefly Watch Citizen Science Project , “Secret Lives of Fireflies” from his Boston Museum of Science presentation
    • Valerie Kuppek, 2020 PAFF Summer Research Intern, Local firefly science and monitoring
    • And more...

  • Virtual Firefly Walks
    • Peggy Butler, Video from PAFF board member and firefly walk guide, 
    • Radim Schreiber, FireflyExperience.org, macro photography and videography of fireflies in the Allegheny National Forest area
  • 2020 T-shirts
    • The t-shirts are a fundraiser for PAFF
Click Here to buy or make a donation

We know it’s hard to miss out on the “real thing” this firefly season.  We hope viewing this online experience brings you some sense of the wonder, joy and HOPE this little light-in-the-forest holds for us all.  We look forward to the years ahead when we can enjoy them together in-person.



Thursday, May 28, 2020

2020 Revised PA Firefly Interpretive Programs and Camp Outs and the Virtual Stay-At-Home PA Firefly Festival

In light of the lifting of restrictions in our area by Governor Wolf, the PA Firefly Festival has decided to offer some limited firefly viewing programs this June. We feel confident that we can follow the CDC guidelines and safely provide limited viewing opportunities and restricted educational programs. Therefore, we are releasing the revised schedule with links to registrations. Be aware that attendance is limited to 25 participants or less to minimize health risks and environmental impacts. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be respected at all events. Masks will be encouraged but not required.

By registering, participants assume responsibility for any and all risk due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Anyone with a fever or who presents with other obvious symptoms will be asked to withdraw from events. Please DO NOT register if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 2 weeks.

This announcement DOES NOT apply to the 8th Annual PA Firefly Festival. All daytime activities have been cancelled. We are still planning to host a Virtual STAY-AT-HOME Online Festival. You will still be able to enjoy some video, music and slideshow presentations by firefly and forest experts from your computer or smart devices in the comfort and safety of your home. We will be posting and hopefully streaming this on June 27 on our Youtube Channel, Facebook and Instagram pages. Stay tuned to our website for more details.
The 2020 PAFF T-shirt will be available through Custom Ink starting June 1.