A select few lottery winners will have the opportunity to see fireflies light up Lamar Alexander Rocky Fork State Park in two distinct ways.
During their mating ritual, synchronous fireflies flash synchronized patterns to attract a partner, while blue ghost fireflies emit a bright blue light that can last for up to a minute.
Tim Pharis, the park manager at Rocky Fork, said since the park began doing the firefly showings in 2017, the response from the public has been high and Pharis said roughly 3,500 signed up for last year’s lottery.
“This is a spectacular event, and we are excited to welcome park visitors for these special evenings,” said Pharis. “This is a small state park with limited access, so we have to limit the number of people here for the viewing. Everyone will have an equal chance at landing a spot.”
The lottery will open at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 6, and will remain open until May 12 at midnight. After the lottery closes, 10 applicants will be chosen per viewing session. Those chosen applicants are able to bring one car with up to six guests to the viewing; the cost is $20 per person. Those who are selected by the lottery will be notified on May 15.
Programs for the blue ghost fireflies will take place on May 27, 28 and 29, and the synchronous firefly viewings will be on June 6, 7 and 8.
Lottery entries are available online at tnstateparks.com/parks/events/rocky-fork.