Arc of Appalachia program will light up the summer

By Sarah Allen - For The Times-Gazette

Author Sara Lewis will discuss the “mysterious world of fireflies.”

Author Sara Lewis will discuss the “mysterious world of fireflies.”

Summertime would hardly seem complete without fireflies, and this year the Arc of Appalachia is hosting an event celebrating these incandescent insects of the night.

Andrea Jaeger, with the Arc of Appalachia, said that the three-day weekend workshop beginning June 16 is something “brand new.”

“(It’s going to be) a really exciting weekend of events,” she added.

The workshop kicks off with a talk by author Sara Lewis on the “mysterious world of fireflies,” as described in a press release.

“There’s so much that we don’t know about fireflies,” Jaeger said.

Lewis’ presentation will be held at the Historic Paxton Theatre in Bainbridge from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 through16. Children under 6 are free. Any adult with a Highland County or Ross County ID can bring two children for free, with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Registration can be found on the Arc of Appalachia website. Jaeger added that tickets will also be sold at the door.

Jaeger described what attendees will discover, including a “better understanding of what a firefly’s life is like.”

After Lewis’ presentation, there will be an optional catered dinner and firefly evening viewing at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. The dinner is $20 for adults and $10 for ages 6 through 16. Children under age 5 are free. Pre-registration is required. The dinner begins at 7 p.m.

An event such as this, Jaeger said, is a way to more “actively participate in the world around you.”

A press release adds that, during the viewing, guests will also enjoy “acoustic music created by invited musicians who will provide a stirring soundtrack for the silent spectacle created by thousands of fireflies arising from the meadows.”

Jaeger said the inspiration for the event came after Arc of Appalachia Director Nancy Stranahan read Lewis’s book “Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies” and decided it “would be neat if we could bring this” to the local region.

“Everybody can get something out of (the book),” Jaeger said. She added that, over all, it is a “great introduction to celebrate what’s around you.”

The weekend workshop will continue on Saturday with a field trip to Adams County. Ohio naturalist John Howard will accompany participants on a search for “rare, unusual, and extraordinary insects,” as stated in the press release.

Guests will then visit Serpent Mound for a catered Solstice Feast. Finally, the day will end with a trip to the “wilds of Adams County,” according to the release, to find synchronous fireflies and Chinese Lanterns. The latter is a species with “an exceptionally long-lasting burst of light,” the release adds.

The entire three-day event is $150 per person. Five meals are included.

To learn more, visit

Author Sara Lewis will discuss the “mysterious world of fireflies.” Sara Lewis will discuss the “mysterious world of fireflies.”

By Sarah Allen

For The Times-Gazette