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.

Friday, July 6, 2018

2018 PAFF

      The 2018 PA Firefly Festival is in the books. It was a wet but wonderful event. The weather cleared and the attendance counter reached 550!  So many people helped make it a success. Thank you to all the PAFF Board: Ken Butler, Jeff Calta, Bruce Parkhurst, Rowan Rose and Rob Santangelo; volunteers from AMVETS Post #113, and friends and family volunteers: Marshal and Gail Ariza, Stacey and Audrey Barnes,  Lisa Albaugh Bee, Sam Butler, Patty Calta, Helen Fielding, Hailey Kiser,  Barbara Litton, Marion & Steve Sherwood, Naryan Thompson, Shannon Thompson, David Wilton and Jay Woodring; exhibitors/experts:  Ernest and Karen Boyd, Sierra Club-Moshannon;  Aaron Haugh & Jessica Leacock, USDA Forest Service; Sara Lower, PhD., Bucknell University; David & Lara Mitchell, Lumican; Jennifer Moore, Chapman Dam State Park; Tory Porter & Dalton Silvis, USACE Tionesta Lake; Cecile Stetler, DCNR and Adele Wellman, Allegany State Park, NY; vendors: Brad & Jen Feltenberger, Felt-N-Burgers; Casey & Aiden Hennig, Mobile Fresca; Sandy Mills, Tionesta Moon Jewelry; Bonnie Rubin, Butterfly Bean Studio; Joan Swartz, The Pretzel Place;  and Katie Taggart & Erin Crownover, Twig & Kootie's Nursery;  musicians: Matt Miskie, John Stony & Co, Jesse Smith & Whiskey for 3, Angelina D & Angel Blue; performers: Ibiyinka Alao, United Nations Arts Ambassador, Tara and Tory Brown, Delta Circus, Glow Performance;  sound/stage technicians: Nat Licht and Rob Santangelo; guides:  Melissa Becker, Lisa Bee, Rod Daum, Tory Porter, Ariel  Wenner,  and Cecile Winder, and last but NOT LEAST... Interns: Kaylene Brink, Western Washington University, and Kylie Voss, State University of New York-ESF.  A HUGE Thank-You goes to our sponsors and grantors: Allegheny Defense Project,  Black Caddis Ranch, The Bridge Builders Community Foundation, Erie Insurance, Flying W Ranch, the Forest Area Arts Council, Heartwood, Heffern Septic Services, Huplits Wildlife Fund (Sierra Club Allegheny Chapter),  Lumican, Mount Zion Lutheran Church, Northwest Savings Bank, the Paul & Ellen Charitable Fund, the PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau/Forest County Tourism Grant, PNC Bank J. Bowman Proper Trust, for their contributions and support of our 6th and best festival ever.  We couldn't have done it without each and every one of you.

Sorry, I didn't get pictures of everything and everyone, but here are a few. Of course, the FIREFLIES performed like the STARS of the show they are, and no one left disappointed. Thank you to all the visitors who came to witness this amazing display by the "spirits of the forest". Until next year, Peggy Butler.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Getting To Kellettville

      Unfortunately, Construction Season coincides exactly with Firefly Season, so many of the roads in Forest County are closed due to bridge replacements.  Your GPS may not pick up these closures until it’s too late; costing you time and gas mileage.  We will be installing our usual wayfinding "PA Firefly Festival" signs at strategic locations. So keep a lookout for them.  We hope you will also find the maps and instructions helpful.  There are 2 affected roads this year.
     The first closure is on PA State Route 666 between PA State Route 62 in East Hickory and German Hill Road.  If you are traveling from Tidioute on SR 62 southbound, follow the detour signs to Little Hickory Road, SR 3004, 2 miles south of East Hickory, turn left and then proceed to the stop sign at German Hill Road, SR 4004 (4 miles). Turn left and go to the stop sign at PA Route 666 (8 miles). Turn right onto SR 666 and go approximately 3.5 miles to Black Caddis Ranch. 
       If you are traveling from Tionesta on PA State Route 62 northbound, turn right onto Little Hickory Road, SR 3004 and follow the same route as above.
       If you are traveling west on PA State Route 36 into Tionesta, look for German Hill Road, SR 4004 on your right.  It is the second right after you cross the Tionesta bridge at the bottom of the “Tionesta Dam” hill.  Follow German Hill for 12 miles to the stop and turn right onto PA State Route 666. Go approximately 3.5 miles to Black Caddis Ranch.

Note:  We DO NOT recommend using Nebraska Bridge Road, due to rough road conditions and it is subject to closing without notice due to flooding.

     The second closure is on Blue Jay Creek Road, SR 1003, 5 miles north of Marienville between PA State Route 66 in Pigeon and PA SR 666 in Lynch.  If you are traveling northbound on PA 66 from Marienville, look for Watson Farm Road, T370 on your left, 1 mile north of the closed Blue Jay Creek Road, across from the Gas Well Company. Turn left and travel (3 miles) to Robenson Hill Road, SR 1005. Turn left and follow SR 1005 to the stop (2 miles). Turn right back onto Blue Jay Creek Road, SR 1003.  Go to the stop (1.6 miles) and turn left onto PA 666 west to Black Caddis Ranch approximately 12 miles.
       If you are traveling southbound on PA 66 from PA 948, Kane/James City, look for Watson Farm Road on your right (6.2 miles southwest of PA 948), and follow the directions from above.
Note: The suggested local roads for both detours, although paved, are narrow, steep and not lined, so extreme caution is encouraged.  Cell service is spotty at best.  Be careful and leave plenty of time to reach your destination safely.  

Monday, April 30, 2018

Registration OPENS MAY 1!!!

Tonight, at midnight, registration opens at The Brown Paper Tickets for the 6th Annual PA Firefly Festival .  There are also 3 other weekend opportunities in Forest County and a mid-week campout experience to consider.  Search PA Firefly Festival on Brown Paper Tickets to see the full list. 

The new website will be opened any minute.  So,
stay tuned and get complete lists and information for the 2018 Firefly Season in NW Pennsylvania.  

Sunday, April 29, 2018

PAFF Honored as a Champion of Conservation and Stewardship by PA Wilds

On April 26th, PAFF was honored by the PA Wilds at the 15th Annual Dinner & Awards.  The PA Wilds Center was formed 15 years ago by public and private partners in a cooperative effort to promote the outdoor recreation opportunities in 13 counties in North Central Pennsylvania.  The dinner's theme was "Celebrating 15 Years: The Wilds At Work".  PA Wilds recognized PAFF for the significant contributions we have made through our multi-faceted conservation work including innovative partnerships, training and education, youth involvement, usage of grant funding to support conservation initiatives, educational marketing and events, collaboration with conservationists and researchers, habitat preservation and more.  We are humbled and thank the PA Wilds Center Board of Directors and the Awards Committee for the honor and recognition. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

2018 Festival News... NO Joke!!

PA Firefly Festival has exciting additional opportunities for this year's Firefly Season in Western Pennsylvania... Firefly Expeditions!  More and more people are wanting to see fireflies, and the demand has resulted in PAFF looking for new and creative ways to respond to the demand without posing a threat to the fireflies or their habitats.  PAFF is planning on leading several weekend Firefly Expeditions starting June 8th through July 14th at various sites, not only in Forest County but throughout Western Pennsylvania.  Afterall, the Firefly is the official Pennsylvania State Insect!

There will be at least 4 different locations for as many as 11 nights of Expeditions and exploration, including the festival in Kellettville.  For a nominal registration fee, PA Firefly Festival staff and interpretive guides will provide short informative programs each night starting at 9 pm.  Then, when conditions are just right, survey the area with the participates and help them seek, find, and identify the fireflies at that location. The locations and links to registration will be announced April 15th and registration will open, May 1st.  Space is limited at each venue.  Be sure you have subscribed to the PAFF newsletter on the website to receive the newsletter and links to register.

From the casual and curious firefly watcher to the serious Citizen Scientists, you should be able to find a Firefly Expedition option that suits your level of curiosity, knowledge and ability.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Donate to PAFF during the Bridge Builders Week of Giving

During the week of March 19th-23rd, your tax-deductible donation to PA Firefly Festival helps support the Firefly Educational Programs, Summer Research Interns, and the future festivals. It's as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Go to the Bridge Builders Community Foundation Gives website 
  2. Get out your favorite credit card and...
  3. Make at least a $25 donation
Every donation counts towards helping us win even more cash prizes from Bridge Builders.  So, thanks for giving. 

We are now less than 4-months away from the 6th Annual PAFF.  We have been busy making plans and looking forward to another exciting season of firefly watching, discovery and fun.  Be sure you stay tuned for the updates by subscribing to our email newsletters on our website.

Friday, February 23, 2018

UN Arts Ambassador tells Forest County about His Fireflies.

Ibiyinka Alao, a United Nations Arts Ambassador from Nigeria came to Forest County on February 1 & 2. With the help of a J. Bowman Proper Trust grant, the Forest Area Arts Council, Tionesta and Marienville Lions clubs and West Forest Elementary Yearbook,  PAFF sponsored the 2-day resident artist in the Forest Area School District.  Ibi, as the kids call him, spoke to all the students K-12 about his experiences growing up in Nigeria and the lessons he learned from catching and releasing fireflies in the bush of Africa.  Using his charm and whit, Ibi connected the science, art, music and life lessons about fireflies to teach them how to paint a forest or village landscape and a Calabash (an African bowl).  He inspired them all to create and express themselves in art, music, writing and dance.

The students' artwork was on display for the community at 2 evening programs, one for West Forest and one for East Forest.  A number of the pieces have been chosen to be published in a Shutterfly book and will soon be available for purchase to benefit PAFF future programs at https://pafireflyfestivalphotogallery.shutterfly.com/.

Each night, Ibi spoke again to the audiences about his paintings and how fireflies have inspired his art and music.  The Scholastic book "Ibi's Fireflies" was a Kids are Authors Award winner and is being made into an animated film using Ibi's artwork and music with the help of producer/director Tim Burton and cinematographer Derek Frey.  We will be looking forward to the release of this film.

This was such a great way to spend the winter days while we are waiting for our next firefly season.  We are so grateful to Ibi and his assistant Shawn.  The PAFF board also thanks the volunteers from Forest Area Arts Council for their help setting up the "art galleries".

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Off-Season Activities

The PAFF board is busy planning for 2018 firefly season.

Each year we learn more and more about these insects and the forest where they live.  Last year's special guest, Sara Lewis, Ph.D. (pictured below) did the most to help us understand our significance and the responsibility we have to all the fireflies in Forest County.  As a result, the PAFF board realizes we have a unique opportunity to create a more intimate educational setting for visitors while protecting the firefly habitat and ultimately the longevity of the species in Forest County.  So this year, limited numbers of firefly walks (both in terms of group size and frequency) and increased ticket prices will be adopted to ensure an improved experience for the visitors.  If you want to see fireflies in the forest this year, stay tuned to this blog, the pafireflyfestival.org and facebook pages to get the latest information on festival registration and seasonal firefly excursions.

 We have been blessed to receive another Huplits Wildlife Grant from the Sierra Club, Allegheny group and another J. Bowman Proper Trust grant to help us continue our educational mission and celebration of these amazing insects.  With the funding, we will be able to sponsor another summer research intern, provide guided firefly excursions, improve seating at the festival, sponsor music & entertainment for festival visitors and continue the educational outreach to groups and schools.   PAFF board members are passionate about researching and learning as much as we can to make 2018 even better for both the visitor and the fireflies.