We’re about 6 weeks out from the first mud sale of the year. Mud sales, held primarily in Lancaster County, PA, are auctions meant to support local fire companies.

First a little background, then we’ve got the dates listed below (Jump to: 2018 Mud Sale Dates – Lancaster).

The name “mud sale” comes from the typically muddy condition of the ground during the spring thaw (though not all mud sales, or even a majority, take place in the spring).

The revenue from these annual sales makes up a large chunk of the operating budgets of these volunteer crews.

Members of the Bird-in-Hand and Strasburg fire crews after extinguishing a blaze in 2012. Photo by Ed C

Many of these volunteer fire-fighting organizations have significant Amish membership.

From a 2012 Lancaster Online article on Plain involvement in fire crews:

Amish men and women put great stock in service to others. In civilian life, sprinting willingly into a burning home or bandaging a wound at a graphic accident scene is the ultimate expression of that idea.

Said Rachel, an enthusiastic Weaverland Conference Mennonite teenager who was certified with Daniel at Gordonville: “You can look at volunteerism as a ministry.”

Many have done so in the eastern and southern parts of the county, where some Plain families have served their neighbors for three generations.

Today, said Lancaster County Emergency Management Deputy Director Phil Colvin, local communities are attended by up to 300 Plain sect firefighters and a lesser number of EMTs.

English and Amish emergency crew toil seamlessly side by side. Colvin and others agree that the Plain sect contribution is essential at a time when volunteerism is declining and the need for responders is growing.

Church leaders have become much more accepting of EMS involvement over the past 20 years, as more and more people have joined in, said Sam, an Amish man who heads Gordonville EMS.

Sam further notes that 80% of volunteers in his organization are Amish and Mennonite.

Lancaster is not the only are with Amish firefighters; they also serve on fire companies in New York.

Gordonville Mud Sale, 2013. Photo by Terry Berger

As you can see by the photos and videos below, mud sales are well-attended by both Amish and non-Amish patrons.

Bart Township Mud Sale, 2016. Photo by Ed

What can you buy at a mud sale?

You’ll find a wide array of things for sale at these events. Quilts and crafts, furniture, antiques, building material, equipment, and tools are all on the block. Used buggies are up for sale, as is livestock. And of course, there’s plenty of food and baked goods to keep attendees from getting too hungry.

Past Mud Sale Videos

You can see some of those items up for sale in these videos.

Here’s an abbreviated news report on the 2015 Gordonville Mud Sale:

Here’s a clip from the 2013 edition of the same event, with footage of an Amish auctioneer calling the sale.

This is worth a view just for the performance of the older Amish ringman (or maybe the correct term here is “bid spotter“).

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Amish grandpa that excited, jumping up and down…you can tell he loves his job:

And here’s drone footage of the 2017 Gap event:

Lancaster County Area Mud Sales – Dates & Locations – 2018

Below is a list of Lancaster County-area mud sale events (21 total) via discoverlancaster.com.

If you go or have been before, let us know what you thought!

February 24, 2018
Strasburg Spring Consignment & Mud Sale
Strasburg Fire Company
203 Franklin Street
Strasburg, PA 17572

March 3, 2018
Bart Township Auction & Mud Sale
Bart Township Fire Company
11 Furnace Road
Quarryville, PA 17566

March 10, 2018
Gordonville Spring Mud Sale & Auction
Gordonville Fire Company
Old Leacock Road
Gordonville, PA 17566

March 17, 2018
Penryn Volunteer Fire Company Sale
Penryn Volunteer Fire Company
1441 North Penryn Road
Manheim, PA 17545

March 17, 2018
Airville Volunteer Fire Company Mud Sale
Airville Volunteer Fire Company
3576 Delta Road
Airville, PA 17602

March 17, 2018
West Earl Fire Company Quilt & Consignment Auction
West Earl Fire Company
14 School Lane Avenue
Brownstown, PA 17508

March 22, 2018
Farmersville Mud Sale
Farmersville Volunteer Fire Company
74 East Farmersville Road
Ephrata, PA 17522

March 24, 2018
Gap Fire Company Mud Sale & Auction
Gap Fire Company
802 Pequea Avenue
Gap, PA 17527

April 7, 2018
Robert Fulton Sale
Robert Fulton Volunteer Fire Company
2271 Robert Fulton Highway (Routes 272 & 222)
Peach Bottom, PA 17563

April 14, 2018
Rawlinsville Mud Sale
Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Company
33 Martic Heights Drive
Holtwood, PA 17532

May 5, 2018
Fivepointville Auction
Fivepointville Fire Company
1087 Dry Tavern Road
Denver, PA 17517

May 12, 2018
Honey Brook Quilt Sale & Consignment Auction
Honey Brook Fire Company
Romano 4H Center, 1841 Horseshoe Pike
Honey Brook, PA 19344

May 19, 2018
Weaverland Valley Mud Sale
Weaverland Valley Fire Company
Terre Hill Community Park, 210 Lancaster Avenue
Terre Hill, PA 17528

June 9, 2018
Kinzer Fire Company Mud Sale
Kinzer Volunteer Fire Company
3521 Lincoln Highway East (Route 30)
Kinzer, PA

June 28 & 29, 2018
Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction
Bird-in-Hand Volunteer Fire Company
313 Enterprise Drive
Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505

June 23, 2018
Refton Fire Company Mud Sale
Refton Volunteer Fire Company
99 Church Street
Refton, PA 17568

August 11, 2018
Gap Relief Auction
Solanco Fairgrounds
172 South Lime Street
Quarryville, PA 17566

August 18, 2018
Intercourse Fire Company Consignment Auction
Intercourse Fire Company
10 North Hollander Road
Intercourse, PA 17534

August 25, 2018
Bareville Fire Company Consignment Auction
Bareville Volunteer Fire Company
211 East Main Street
Leola, PA 17540

September 15, 2018
Gordonville Fall Mud Sale & Auction
Gordonville Fire Company
Old Leacock Road
Gordonville, PA 17566

October 27, 2018
Cochranville Fire Company Mud Sale
Cochranville Volunteer Fire Company
3135 Limestone Road
Cochranville, PA

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