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Hundreds Drawn to Firefly Festival Like Moths to a Flame

Duke Farms inaugural event capitalizes on a favorite summertime visitor.

Credit: Getty
Credit: Getty
Is it the hide-and-seek glowing of a firefly's bottom that beckons to children of all ages, or the mysterious fact it's glowing at all?

Few people can resist the charms of the little critters—which may explain why Duke Farms' first-ever Firefly Festival, set for 8 to 11 p.m. Friday (Saturday if it rains), has nearly 500 participants registered.

"I think that everyone has a favorite firefly memory," said Kathleen Salisbury, Duke Farms' Team Leader for Education.

That was part of the reason for the festival, which will celebrate the winged beetles with 20 activity stations across 1.5-miles of trails at Duke Farms offering fun activities, facts and information.

Visitors will learn such details as the fact that fireflies or lightning bugs are a benign visitor to the yard, which many find surprising.

"They eat slugs and snails and they don't eat plants at all," Salisbury said.

Another reason for the project is highlight the diminishing numbers of fireflies—some suspect light pollution caused by development is interfering with the bugs' lives; others blame suburban development.

Either way, there will be lots to celebrate at the event—including Duke Farms' polling on what the real name is, firefly or lightning bug.

If you want to join the festival, call 908-722-3700, ext. 4, to register, pack a flashlight (and maybe some mosquito repellent) and put on your walking shoes.

Then get ready for the light show.
Kathy Salisbury July 13, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Due to the rain last night the Firefly Festival has been rescheduled for this evening 8-11PM and will run rain or shine. Fingers crossed for a starry sky and a landscape full of lightning bugs! See you there. Kathy Salisbury - Manager - Education, Duke Farms

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