You’ve got to be lucky to catch the Elkmont synchronous fireflies this year

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WDEF) – Park officials in the Smokey Mountains are trying a new system this year to decide who gets to watch the synchronous firefly show each June.

The annual peak viewing season has become a major draw for the park system at the Elkmont Campground.

But the limiting factor is parking.

And parking passes have been selling out in just seconds after going on sale the last few years.

So this year, they are going to a lottery system.

“Unfortunately, we can’t accommodate all those who want to come see the fireflies at Elkmont, but we are hopeful that the new process for registering to reserve a parking pass will be an easier, less frustrating experience for visitors,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash.

So here is how it will work.

— You have an open 3-day period to apply from April 29 at 12 p.m. to May 2 at 8 p.m. Do it here.

— You will have to choose between a regular parking pass or large vehicle pass and choose between 2 dates.

— One application per household

— No fee to apply, but it you win, you’ll be charged $1.50 reservation fee.

— The specific dates for the event will not be posted until April 26. Experts use weather & scientific patterns to determine the peak viewing period each year.

— Winners will be announced on May 10th.

There area a total of 1,800 parking passes up for grabs.

So is this unique outdoor wonder worth the trouble?

Check out this profile from CBS Sunday Morning.

Categories: Environment, Events, Regional News

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