The Lancaster County mud sale schedule for 2023 is now available, with the first event happening just a month from now.

These Amish-heavy events draw members of the community and outside visitors in support of the local volunteer fire companies. Many have large numbers of Plain volunteers on their rosters.

Purple quilt at Lancaster mud sale

Quilts up for sale at a Lancaster County mud sale. Photo: Lauren Futch

A mud sale is an opportunity to enjoy an Amish-attended auction event, eat tasty auction food, and maybe buy something interesting. Buggies, quilts, farm equipment, crafts, tools, furniture, antiques, horses, and more are sold at mud sales.

A portion of the proceeds from these events go to support the local fire company. So by attending these lively events you’re also supporting the community – specifically an important civic institution supported by both Plain and non-Plain residents.

Why is it called “mud sale”?

The name “mud sale” is rooted in the condition of the area fields due to the spring thaw. The tradition dates back to the 1960s as detailed in this article.

The sales are typically held in farmers’ fields, so if you have muck boots or other suitable shoes, you might want to bring them along, especially if you’re attending a mud sale happening in the actual winter-spring thaw period (the present-day mud sale calendar stretches into the summer and even autumn).

Many of them happen over two days, with different types of sales happening on each day. You’ll see both Amish and non-Amish people in attendance.

These are generally consignment auctions where people bring items for sale, with a percentage of the sale value going to the host fire company. Some of the mud sales have specific themes, like quilts or carriages.

This short video by Mark Pynes/Penn Live gives a great feel for mud sales:

Where do mud sales take place?

This tradition originated in Lancaster County and that is where the bulk of the mud sales take place today (at least one sale happens outside of Lancaster County, at Airville in York County).

Another place which holds an annual benefit sale is the Gratz Fire Company in Gratz, PA (Dauphin County) though I haven’t been able to find info on this year’s sale yet, so it doesn’t yet appear in the list below. UPDATE: I’ve added the info on the Gratz sale below, it is May 5-6. Hat tip to reader Jerry.

This is an annual happening and an important one for the region’s volunteer fire companies, which generate around one-third of their operating budget for the entire year over a single one-or-two-day event. The sales are held at the fire companies on the surrounding grounds.

Amish boys at a mud sale event

Bart Township Fire Company mud sale. Photo: Lauren Futch

In 2023, approximately 20 mud sales are scheduled to take place. Outsiders are welcome to attend, and you can find an event in the schedule below that works for you. It’s a good opportunity to combine a mud sale with a visit to the Amish community in Lancaster County.

Lancaster County Mud Sale Calendar – 2023

Be sure to confirm the dates and times before traveling long distances to one of these events. While changes are not too common (and this year’s schedule should certainly be more reliable than say that of 2020 and 2021, when many sales were canceled for Covid-related reasons), you want to be sure of times before making a trip. Each company’s website is listed as a source of further information.

February 2023

Strasburg Spring Consignment & Mud Sale
February 24 & 25
Strasburg Fire Company
203 Franklin Street
Strasburg, PA 17572
717-687-7232
strasburgfire.com

March 2023

Bart Township Auction & Mud Sale
March 3 & 4
Bart Township Fire Company
11 Furnace Road
Quarryville, PA 17566
717-786-3348
bart51.com

Amish firemen at a house fire

Amish firefighters on site at a blaze in Lancaster County. Proceeds from mud sales support these volunteer fire companies. Photo: Ed C.

Gordonville Spring Mud Sale & Auction
March 10 & 11
Gordonville Fire Company
Old Leacock Road
Gordonville, PA 17566
717-768-3512
43fireems.com

Penryn Volunteer Fire Company Sale
March 17 & 18
Penryn Volunteer Fire Company
1441 North Penryn Road
Manheim, PA 17545
717-664-2825
penrynfire.com

West Earl Fire Company Quilt & Consignment Auction
March 18
West Earl Fire Company
14 School Lane Avenue
Brownstown, PA 17508
717-989-5986
westearlfire.org

Airville Volunteer Fire Company Mud Sale (York County)
March 18
Airville Volunteer Fire Company
3576 Delta Road
Airville, PA 17602
717-862-3806
avfc55.com

Food stand at Amish mud sale

Food offerings at a mud sale. Photo: Ed C.

Farmersville Mud SaleMarch 24
Farmersville Volunteer Fire Company
74 East Farmersville Road
Ephrata, PA 17522
717-354-5094
farmersvillefire.com

Gap Fire Company Mud Sale & Auction
March 25
Gap Fire Company
802 Pequea Avenue
Gap, PA 17527
610-593-2480
gapfire.org

April 2023

Robert Fulton Sale
April 1
Robert Fulton Volunteer Fire Company
2271 Robert Fulton Highway
Peach Bottom, PA 17563
717-548-8995
513rffc.com

Rawlinsville Mud Sale
April 14 & 15
Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Company
33 Martic Heights Drive
Holtwood, PA 17532
717-284-3023
rvfd58.com

Amish father & daughter by farm equipment at mud sale

Like other Amish auctions, mud sales are family events. Photo: Ed C.

Schoeneck Fire Company Mud Sales
April 15
Schoeneck Fire Company
125 N. King Street
Denver, PA 17517
717-336-6767
schoeneckfire.com

May 2023

Gratz Fire Company Sale
May 5-6
Gratz Fire Company
601 E Market St.
Gratz, PA 17030
717-572-0943

Fivepointville Auction
May 6
Fivepointville Fire Company
1087 Dry Tavern Road
Denver, PA 17517
717-445-4933
fivepointvillefire.net

Honey Brook Quilt Sale & Consignment Auction
May 13
Honey Brook Fire Company
Romano 4H Center
1841 Horseshoe Pike
Honey Brook, PA 19344
610-273-2688
honeybrookfire.org

Weaverland Valley Mud Sale
May 19 & 20
Weaverland Valley Fire Department
210 Lancaster Avenue
Terre Hill, PA 17528
717-445-7066
weaverlandvalleyfire.com

June 2023

Kinzer Fire Company Mud Sale
June 10
Kinzer Volunteer Fire Company
3521 Lincoln Highway East
Kinzer, PA
717-442-4121
kinzerfire.com

Refton Fire Company Mud Sale
June 23 & 24
Refton Volunteer Fire Company
99 Church Street
Refton, PA 17568
717-786-9462
refton59fire.com

Buggy at fire company sale in Gratz, PA, with fire trucks in background

Buggy at the Gratz Fire Company sale with fire trucks visible in the background. Photo: Jerry in PA

Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction Bird-in-Hand
June 29 & 30
Bird-in-Hand Volunteer Fire Company
313 Enterprise Drive
Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505
717-392-0112
birdinhandauction.com

August 2023

Bareville Fire Company Consignment Auction
August 26
Bareville Volunteer Fire Company
211 East Main Street
Leola, PA 17540
717-656-7554
barevillefire.com

September 2023

Gordonville Fall Mud Sale & Auction
September 16
Gordonville Fire Company
Old Leacock Road
Gordonville, PA 17566
717-768-3869
43fireems.com

October 2023

Cochranville Fire Company Mud Sale
October 21
Cochranville Volunteer Fire Company
3135 Limestone Road
Cochranville, PA
610-593-5800
cochranvillefire.com

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