Thursday, May 30, 2024

Molly Branch Fireflies: 2024 Sold Out! (published 5-30-2024; article #474)


Sometimes, interesting things happen, when you're at your monthly chiropractor appointment! Dr. Arthur J. Poisal (Doc Art.) is a friend, who has provided excellent care for over 20 years. His clinic is one of the listings under this website's Business Recommendations: northeast Knox County, TN.

Last Tuesday morning, I joined other patients, while we awaited our appointments. A few minutes later, a couple, about my age, arrived. Initially, the wife and I struck up a conversation, thinking that we recognized each other. Her husband came in, after he'd parked the car. Years ago, he and I may have met while hiking somewhere. He looked familiar.

The initial point of interest was that I learned about a synchronous lightning bug show, which is near House Mountain! Who would have “thunk” it? How did I not already know?

Local media have already been buzzing about the lightning bug show in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I thought about writing another article. Instead, I chuckled a bit by reading last year's article, Synchronous Fireflies Show, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: You're Kidding, Right? (published 4-29-2023; article #408).

This 33rd entry, under the topic section Appalachia - Northeast Tennessee, recommends Molly Branch Fireflies: Synchronized Fireflies Knox County, Tennessee, for next year. Driving to or from House Mountain, I have passed the long driveway many times. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I will have a backyard full of lightning bugs.

Why do I not recommend Molly Branch Fireflies this year? They are already sold out!

Molly Branch Fireflies

With an apology to Molly Branch Fireflies: Synchronized Fireflies Knox County, Tennessee, I have to write and say lightning bugs, not fireflies! Local folks should not mimic the words used by those, who aren't from these parts! For this article, I'll accept the Molly Branch use of fireflies instead of lightning bugs.

Molly Branch Fireflies is situated southwest, at the curve where Fulton Road becomes Hogskin Road. Turning southwest, a long dirt road crosses the fertile bottom land and leads to the location, which is nestled in a “V” between two hills. Several years ago, I noticed a new dirt road and a house under construction. The house was finished, and I often wondered who lived there. Now, I know! House Mountain is about 5.5 miles, or about a 10-minute drive, from the house. Molly Branch Fireflies is 1.3 miles southwest of the entrance to House Mountain.

The main website page sparks (pun intended) interest by saying, “Come and See… Synchronized Fireflies, Blue Ghosts, Heebie Jeebies.” Scrolling down their “Fireflies” tab explains what a “blue ghost” and a “hebbie jeebie” are.

This year, the sold-out schedule is only 12 days, from Saturday, June 7th, through Tuesday, June 18th. Tickets cost $12 per person, ages 13 and older, and $4 per child (ages 4-12). The gate opens at 7 PM. The lightning bugs come out about dark. The show lasts until 11:30 PM. No pets are allowed. “Tickets: Helpful Tips Before Coming” includes several suggestions and rules.

The website states, “2024 is now SOLD OUT! We hope to add a day or two, but [it is] undetermined at this time. Please email us at to be included on our wait list.” Apparently, there is hope, if you want to visit this year!


Why did I not know before about Molly Branch Fireflies? The “About Us” tab explains how the owner opened his property, for lightning bug shows, after his wife had passed six years ago. Back then, I must have missed the story. I found a local television station article, “Molly Branch shows off synchronous fireflies in Corryton,” WBIR-TV, by staff, 6/15/2018, which states:

Jun. 14, 2018: A Corryton man is opening his private property to the public to see the "snappy sync" species of synchronous firefly. The event was partly inspired by the good nature of his late wife.

The loss of his dear wife inspired this distant neighbor to welcome the paying public onto his property to watch the lightning bug show! The lesson to this Appalachian Irishman and to us all is that sorrow, loss, and grief can be turned into blessings and joy for many.

The Gospel of John chapters 13-17 record Jesus' last meal with his disciples, before His crucifixion. Among His words of comfort, Jesus stated, “Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20, NIV). In heaven, family will everlastingly gather and enjoy far more wonderful sights than the beauty of a lightning bug show!

Local readers, remember Molly Branch Fireflies for next year! You don't have to drive all the way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Well, if any local readers know us well enough, you are welcome to come by the house one evening next month. You could see a lightning bug show, in our backyard, without cost. Just call before you come by!

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