Smokies announces synchronous firefly viewing dates - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Smokies announces synchronous firefly viewing dates

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Thousands gather in the Elkmont area each year to view the synchronous firefly event. WBIR photo Thousands gather in the Elkmont area each year to view the synchronous firefly event. WBIR photo
GATLINBURG (WBIR) -

(WBIR) - Officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced Tuesday morning the dates for the annual synchronous firefly viewing in Elkmont.

The park will provide shuttle service to the viewing area from Tuesday, May 30 through Tuesday, June 6, according to our sister NBC affiliate WBIR.

Applications for the lottery run from Friday, April 28 at noon until Monday, May 1 at 8 p.m.

Results of the lottery are available on May 10.

APPLY NOW | Recreation.gov website

Thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elmont Campground every year in late May or early June to view the phenomenon of Photinus carolinus, which is a firefly species that flash synchronously.

The park will distribute 1,800 vehicle passes, which includes 1,768 regular parking passes (225 per day). The regular parking passes admit one passenger vehicle up to 19 feet in length with a maximum of six occupants.

The park will also distribute 32 large-vehicle parking passes (four per day), which admit one large vehicle (RV, mini-bus, etc..) from 19 to 30 feet in length with a maximum of 24 occupants.

Lottery applicants must apply for either a regular parking pass or a large-vehicle parking pass. Applicants may then choose two possible dates to attend the event over the eight-day viewing period.

The lottery system uses a randomized computer drawing to select applications. There is no fee to enter the lottery this year. If selected, the lottery winner will be charged a $2.75 reservation fee and awarded a parking pass.

The National Park Service said 20,010 people entered the firefly lottery last year.

Visitors are asked to visit Recreation.gov or call 1(877)444-6777 to enter the lottery.

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