Discover Life in America plans to hold its annual firefly event near Gatlinburg with COVID-19 modifications

by May 20, 2020General Announcements


Discover Life in America plans to hold its annual firefly-themed fundraising event at the end of May, with several modifications following COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC. The Fireflies Event at Norton Creek will be held on the evenings of May 29, 30, and 31 from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Norton Creek Sanctuary, a private property adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Some of this year’s changes to the event include limiting attendance to approximately 50 percent capacity, checking guests for COVID-19-like symptoms, requiring masks and social distancing, and an altered schedule for the evening. This year, no food or drink will be served at the event, but ticketholders will receive a gift certificate for a local restaurant. Guests will also have the opportunity to view a short presentation about fireflies prior to the event and entomologist Dr. Will Kuhn will be available at the event to answer firefly questions. A full list of precautions and changes is available on DLiA’s website (

“This is an exciting opportunity to see the world-famous synchronous fireflies, blue ghost fireflies, and other species known to the Smokies, “ said Todd Witcher, Executive Director at DLiA, “and this year we are taking extra precautions so that folks can enjoy the event safely.”

Tickets for this fundraising event are $225 per person and all proceeds help DLiA conduct biological diversity research in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visit to purchase tickets or contact Todd at or (865) 430-4757.

For those that are unable to make this in-person event, DLiA also plans to host a free virtual fireflies event on YouTube at 8 p.m. on Monday, June 1. Details for this event will follow soon on and Facebook.

– Discover Life in America