More than 900 people showed up the first night of the 2 week lightning bug show and even more are expected to show up next weekend when the mating season for the firefly beetles is in full swing.
Even though the weather will be shaky for the remainder of the week we suggest that you come during a weeknight if possible to avoid the crowds who come to watch the synchronized fireflies that perform the best in the Elkmont section of the GSMNP.
Shuttles start leaving to Elkmont from the Sugarlands visitor center at 6:00 pm. The Elkmont section of the park closes to all traffic other than shuttles at 5:00 pm. You can read more about the synchronized fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
A side note: even though the park service has advised us to ask visitors to bring red cellophane to cover flashlights, red cellophane was provided for those who did not have their own.
By using red cellophane on flashlights people who are around you can maintain better night vision and the lights that are red are less disturbing to the lightning bugs as white lights which can keep the fireflies from flashing to their prospective mates.
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