Synchronous Fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains 2016: Lottery Introduced for Parking Passes!


I have wanted to see this amazing event for years but passes are gone with in minutes of becoming available. This year the Park’s service is changing things up. There will be a lottery for passes this year. Here is how it will work.

Lottery for Parking Passes

Beginning with the 2016 season, parking passes will be distributed via a lottery. This provides an equitable opportunity for interested visitors to obtain a pass for this limited, yet high-demand event. The lottery will be open from 12 p.m. ET on FRIDAY, APRIL 29 until 8 p.m. ET on MONDAY, MAY 2.

  • Entering the lottery is free of charge

  • Lottery winners will be charged $1.50 and awarded a parking pass

  • There are no refunds, transfers, rain checks or changes to the parking pass

  • Lottery results will be announced on May 10

  • Lottery winners must occupy the vehicle and must present photo identification, which matches the name of the lottery winner, before the vehicle is admitted to the parking area

  • Only one application per household

When applying to the lottery, please ensure that the contact information on your account is correct. Your email address will be used for lottery and parking pass communications. You can create an account or update your profile here.


Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and one of only a few species in the world known to synchronize their flash patterns. This insects’ reproductive display occurs for a couple of weeks every year throughout its range (southern Appalachians), and is typically in late May or early June in the Elkmont area of the park.



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