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.

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.

Friday, April 24, 2020

VIRTUAL STAY-AT-HOME FIREFLY FESTIVAL



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The 8th Annual PA Firefly Festival and all Seasonal Firefly Events for the 2020 season are cancelled. But wait… there’s an alternative to the in-person festival and firefly guided tours.  This year, we will present a Virtual Stay-at-Home PA Firefly Festival.  
Using today’s technology, we can still celebrate the joy of the firefly season and continue to educate the public to the best of our ability during this time of social distancing. Some of the scheduled 2020 firefly experts and artists will now participate in a virtual way.  In other words, they will submit photos, videos and slide show presentations which will appear on our website pafireflyevents.org, and our PAFF YouTube Channel, Instagram and/or Facebook pages on June 27th.
The 2020 Virtual PAFF is still a celebration of the joy of fireflies.  With the support of the Forest County Tourism Grant and VisitPAGo.com, we are urging folks to STAY HOME, and take advantage of all of our Social Media and online information to learn about the fireflies in their own backyards.  You can also participate in the science of fireflies by becoming a “Firefly Watcher” on the Firefly Watch Citizen Science Project at the massaudubon.org website. You would be contributing greatly to the world-wide database and helping to advance the science of fireflies.  The virtual Art After Dark sponsored by the Elk County Council of the Arts and Pennsylvania Partners of Art, will feature a presentation by the United Nations Ambassador of Art, Mr.  Ibiyinka Alao, photos and video by world-renowned photographer Radim Schreiber and original music by Pennsylvania’s favorite troubadour, Matt Miskie. Of course, you will be able to order our popular PAFF t-shirts online, designed by Amalia Tonsor, and donations will be accepted through PayPal to help with costs and future festivals.
During the firefly season, we will continue to monitor and conduct our summer research here in Kellettville and throughout Western PA.  Ms. Valerie Kuppek, a rising Senior in Biology from Dickinson College, is our Summer Research Intern. She will be monitoring our local fireflies, and helping to produce a Virtual Firefly Walk once the Synchronous Firefly season begins here in June. We hope to stream, or at least post, the videos online, and we hope you will be able to "catch" the fireflies from the safety and comfort of your home at your convenience.
While we held out hope for this summer as long as we could, we feel strongly this is the right decision.  Our priority is the health and safety of our community and the public. We stress using the “Firefly Etiquette” protocol we have developed over the years.  We hope you will consider your actions or behavior and how it affects everyone including fireflies. We hope to be back in 2021 stronger and better for the experience.

Friday, March 27, 2020

New Website Address

Please take note: We have made a change to the website address, or URL, to better reflect the broad scope of Pennsylvania Firefly Festival's current and future mission.  The new domain is pafireflyevents.org.  We believe this change is more descriptive of the numerous firefly events we offer throughout Forest County and across Pennsylvania each firefly season.  So, reset your bookmarks. You can still find us on Facebook, Twitter and follow this blogspot with all the same links as you did before or email us at pafireflyfestival@gmail.com for more information.

We are optimistically continuing are plans for June firefly events and the festival.  So, STAY HOME, for now, so we can see you in June!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Thank You for Giving!

The 2020 Bridge Builders Week of Giving has concluded and we topped out at $3925!  Almost double our goal.  Thank you to everyone who opened their wallets and made a donation in these uncertain times.  We appreciate your support of our PAFF Summer Research Intern and firefly Educational Programs for this coming firefly season.  We are optimistically looking forward to warm summer nights and lots of fireflies.  Until then, stay well.

Monday, March 16, 2020

2020 Bridge Builders Week of Giving, March 16-20.

Despite the COVID-19 restrictions our annual fundraising event with The Bridge Builders Community Foundation during the Week of Giving is still underway. The good news it doesn't require you to leave the comfort and safety of your home to support our firefly educational programs and Summer Research Interns.  You can contribute to the PA Firefly Festival, Inc online during this week and help us to multiply the donations.  Your contributions of $25 or more will be collected through the Bridge Builders Foundation and then distributed to us with the chance of generating matching funds from other organizations to help us increase the dollars.  Click here to make your tax-deductible donation between March 16 and 20. 
Thank you!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

COVID-19 Response



In the grand scheme of things, we know that the PA Firefly Festival doesn't match up to cancelled sports tournaments, and the economic crisis. However, we have been watching and considering our options since January. The festival is still several months away. We don't want to be hasty, but we also know people are anxious and want information. So be assured, we are hoping for the best and planning for the worst.

The best-case scenario would be that the measures the Commonwealth is currently taking to contain the spread of COVID-19 will save the day, and by the end of April, the restrictions will be lifted and no longer necessary for June events. We are proceeding with the plans for the 8th Annual PA Firefly Festival and scheduling firefly guided tours for small groups in June and July at various locations. Registrations for the firefly guided tours will open May 1st. We will wait until June before making any decisions on cancellations.

In the meantime, please follow all the health and safety guidelines. Stay positive.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Planning for 2020!

While we are on this rollercoaster ride of a winter, where the weather can't decide what it's going to do, we are thinking ahead to June, 27.  The calls are going out for the return of exhibitors, educators, artists, crafters and food vendors.  We invite those interested in participating in the festival to apply on our website.

We are also proud to have received a second year of funding from the Elk County Council on Art for a Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Grant to fund our Art After Dark.  Interested artists, musicians and/or performers who have art or performances that are expressly suited to be viewed in the dark, i.e. lighted, glowing or illuminated by natural means are encouraged to apply.  Click here to get more details and an application.   The music line-up is complete, and we welcome back our favorites Matt Miskie, Glympse Above, Bluegrass Sweethearts and Catro.  The Little Leroys will be joining us for the first time.  Our music is sponsored again thanks to a grant from the J. Bowman Proper Trust. 

The firefly season in Pennsylvania will be upon us in 5 months, so we will be releasing a schedule of Guided Firefly Viewing Programs at locations throughout North and South Western PA.  Last year, we scheduled over 9 locations, and we will re-visit many of those sites including the ANF and US Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds.  Plans are in the works for some more southern sites in Butler and Fayette counties.   All of these programs require people to help guide visitors to see fireflies.  We welcome anyone who might be interested in becoming a PA Firefly Guide to join us.  Go to our website for more information, or contact us at pafireflyfestival@gmail.com.

For those of you who are hoping just to see fireflies sometime this summer, keep your hats on; it is still pretty cold.  We have lots of planning and work to do before we can start taking reservations.  We will announce the opening of the registration in late April.  Pre-registration won't begin until May 1.  If you subscribe to the PAFF newsletter now, you will receive an email announcement in advance of the opening that will provide you with the links to view the schedule.  For now, you can make reservations for lodging or camping in the area for the festival dates or a weekend in June or early July.  Click here for a thorough list of accommodations in the Forest County area.