Sponsored April 24, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The 8th Annual PA Firefly Festival and all Seasonal Firefly Events for the 2020 season are canceled. 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, 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.