Firefly invasion mean big bucks to Gatlinburg businesses

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

Meet the Pecoraros all the way from Louisiana. They've been vacationing in the Smokies for years.

"We always either stayed in October or around Easter," said Tommy Pecoraro. Until a few summers ago. "We happened to wander in here in June," during the fire fly invasion.

"We thought, 'well, do they bite this time of year or something?' So we just kind of happened upon them," Tommy said. And a love affair with the Smokies and fire flies was born.

"It's, it's, it's pretty awesome. If you've never seen it before it's pretty breath-taking."

Pancake maestro Nancy Pecoraro says it's easier to whip up flapjacks than securing a campsite. "We rented ours six months to the day from when we're coming in, and we were lucky enough to find a site on the river."

By 10 o'clock tonight the park service expects this campground behind me to be flooded with thousands. Pumping a much needed boost into the local economy. "It would have to be helping the hotels and businesses in Gatlinburg too," said Eileen Ritter of the National Park Service.

"If you live this close, you're lost if you do not show up. Kids love it," said Nancy.

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