The Mile-High Swinging Bridge in fog, at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina.

Grandfather Mountain is hosting a new event this summer called Grandfather Glows. And the anticipation is so great that when tickets were supposed to go on sale this morning, the website crashed.

The event, which will be held for three nights is scheduled for June 26th, June 29th, and July 1st. Grandfather Mountain describes the event as “a rare opportunity to see Synchronous Fireflies, Blue Ghost Fireflies and Glowworms, weather and conditions permitting. There are rain dates provided.” The event will take place from  7-11 PM.

The Photinus carolinus

Grandfather Mountain is well known for its natural wonders and is home to more than 70 rare or endangered species. However, it was fairly recent that they discovered a rare firefly species, known as Photinus carolinus. It is now known that the insect also occupies the mountain. What makes these fireflies so interesting? Well, it turns out that the Photinus carolinus is the only species of firefly in North America whose individuals can synchronize their lighting display. This means that they can flash their lights in unison. The Grandfather Glows event will be nighttime viewing of the insects. It will take place on the lower half of the mountain.

“The light show that the synchronous fireflies put on is actually a mating ritual,” John Caveny, Director of Education and Natural Resources at the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, said. “There is a call and response going on between the males and females of the species. The males are flying around, and the females are in the grass. One group of males will emit a flashing pattern as they try to find receptive females, and the females will respond by replicating that flashing pattern, which creates the synchronous effect.”

However, nature lovers who wanted to snag a ticket to this sure-to-sell-out event were disappointed this morning. The large response caused the website to crash with hopeful patrons receiving error messages when they tried to access the site.

Interested in attending Grandfather Mountain Grandfather Glow? Tickets are supposed to go back on sale sometime this week. If you want to be notified when the tickets resume, please sign up on the waitlist here.

Gallery: Grandfather Mountain