Airville Mud Sale – York County, PA (22 Photos)


Two Saturdays ago the Airville Volunteer Fire Company held their annual mud sale. Airville is a small community lying in southeastern York County.  Due east across the Susquehanna River you’ll find the southern Lancaster County Amish population including communities around Holtwood and Quarryville.

The Airvile Fire Company has posted a fun batch of photos via its Facebook page. You can see some of them here, but there are many more, which you can access on their FB page at full size.


Thanks to reader Rita for sharing a little on this sale.  According to this 2012 article, this is the only mud sale held in York County. The company earns around 8% per sale, raising around $10,000 in 2011.  The sale has grown a lot since its inaugural edition in 2001.

Rita says that at this year’s Airville sale, there was no on-site parking, “due to too much mud!” She notes that there were nine areas set up, “mainly school and church parking lots”, where attendees could park and take a bus to the sale.


Rita says that “it was a challenge getting there with having to use shuttle buses, but fun nonetheless.”  Planners also anticipated obstacles when it came to loading purchases, with a special area to “keep your bought items – after you pick up your car, you [could] come back and get your purchases.”


You’ll have to wait til 2015 to attend the next Airville mud sale. I can’t seem to find any date for next year which may mean it has not yet been set.  But there are still a lot of mud sales in Lancaster County happening in the coming weeks and months. Here are the next six:

April 5 – Robert Fulton Sale
Robert Fulton Volunteer Fire Company
2271 Robert Fulton Highway (Routes 272 & 222)
Peach Bottom, PA 17563

April 12 – Rawlinsville Mud Sale
Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Company
33 Martic Heights Drive
Holtwood, PA 17532

May 3 – Fivepointville Mud Sale
Fivepointville Fire Company
1087 Dry Tavern Road
Denver PA 17517

May 10 – Honey Brook Quilt Sale & Consignment Auction
Honey Brook Fire Company
Romano 4H Center, 1841 Horseshoe Pike
Honey Brook, PA 19344

May 17 – Weaverland Valley Mud Sale
Weaverland Valley Fire Company
Terre Hill Community Park, 210 Lancaster Avenue
Terre Hill, PA 17528

June 27 – Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction
Bird-in-Hand Volunteer Fire Company
313 Enterprise Drive
Bird In Hand, PA 17505

Airville Mud Sale Photos

More from the sale, via the Airville Fire Company Facebook page:



















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    1. Great photos!!!

      Tom The Backroads Traveller

    2. New York State of Mind

      I really like these pictures. Do they mud sales in New York STate?


    3. Alice Mary

      Signs of Spring!

      Yes, seeing photos of annual mud sales are a true sign of spring, just like the song of the Redwing Blackbird I’m listening to as I type this (despite the fact that the temp. is in the teens this morning).

      What’s the history of volunteer fire departments hosting these mud sales? Is it because the Amish are among the volunteers, or was it just a common thing to do this time of year, anyway?

      Thank you for sharing your photos, Rita! The last photo took me by surprise, as the man very closely resembles my nephew!

      Alice Mary

      1. History of Mud Sales

        Alice Mary I think this article gives a good background to the mud sales.

        I’m not sure offhand when Amish involvement in fire companies started, but it tends to be a Lancaster County thing and has been going on for some time. The mud sales themselves started around 50 years ago (the last one we featured here, Bart Township, was apparently the first, just having the 50 year anniversary.

    4. Juanita Cook

      Love all these photo’s. A mud sale looks like it would be fun to go to.

    5. Linda

      Thank you for the armchair trip to Pennsylvania today, and the Facebook photo links.

      So is this a consignment auction that benefits the whole community, rather than all the items being donated?

      I am comparing the purple quilt from Airville to see if it’s same or different than the purple quilt picture taken by Lauren Futch at Bart.

      1. Mud sale consignment

        Yes according to the article it is on a consignment basis with around 8% of the proceeds going to the fire company. Not sure how that squares with other mud sales, but seems pretty reasonable. Maybe some donate to this one as well, but I don’t see that info in the article. I believe donation basis would be more common for something like the Special Children’s Auction.

        “It’s really just grown,” he said, noting that the first sale in 2001 had 300 to 400 bidders and last year’s sale had 1,700 bidder numbers.

        Miller said anyone can drop off items at the firehouse to sell. The fire company gets, on average, 8 percent back from the items sold by the consignors.

      2. Lauren Futch

        Purple Quilt


        I immediately recognized the quilt that you are referring to in the photos from the Airville sale. It definitely looks similar to the purple quilt that I photographed at the Bart Township Fire Company Mud Sale.

        Also, I was recently browsing in an Amish-owned quilt shop in Lancaster County and spotted a quilt of the exact same design for sale. The only difference was that it had a royal blue background rather than purple. Perhaps this is a design that is becoming popular among quilters in the area. 🙂


    6. Margaret

      Great photos! Wish I could go to one.

    7. Rita

      Airville Mud Sale

      Thanks for sharing my neck of the woods with Amish America readers – we live in a beautiful area. You can see just a bit of it in these pictures – you should see it when the weather is warmer and everything greens up! I encourage everyone to check out the Airville Volunteer Fire Company’s Facebook page – there are many more pictures like these. Enjoy!

    8. OldKat

      Someday ... someday

      I had thrown my name in the hat to go out on either one of two long term construction projects that my company is sponsoring, both in Amish areas. My thinking was it would be really nice to be able to live among, or at least nearby, the Amish for a year or so before I hang up my cleats, or in this case … work boots. The mud sales is something that I was very muck looking forward to attending.

      Unfortunately, with the generational changing of the gaurd I am now being told that the jobs that I would qualify for are being reseved for the many young engineers that they have hired, or will soon hire, all of which have plenty “book smarts” (education)but absolutely zero practical or hands on experience. They have to get this experience if they are going to contribute in the future.

      I realize that this situation is actually a mild form of age discrimination, but I also wouldn’t even consider taking a position where I am not needed and wanted. So whate has to happen has to happen. It looks like the mud sales in my future will will have to wait until at least the spring of 2017; the following year after I retire in June or July of 2016.

      1. Lancaster mud sales in summer & fall

        Signs are good that the mud sales will still be going in full force by then Oldkat. If you can’t make it before then, 2016 or 2017 is not too far off here (I say 2016 b/c despite the association with spring they go later into the summer and even fall–this year there are two scheduled in October, for Strasburg and Cochranville–though if you’re after mud, you may not get as much as you want that time of year 😉 ).

    9. Debbie Halcomb

      I enjoyed the pictures. I was surprised how willing the Amish were to have picture taken, some even posed. Great to see them smiling though. Would love to attend one sometime,

      1. Saying cheese

        Yes Debbie another example of Amish not being as camera shy as we might suppose. Of course, many are not this willing to say cheese. The girls above might not be church members, though the fellow in the final photo almost certainly is. I think there were some more like this on the Airville FB page, there are probably a few hundred photos from this event.

    10. The Other Erik

      What are the Amish doing, seated at those tables?

      In a couple photos here, I see two rows of tables with Amish people seated at them. There appear to be papers that the Amish are using on those tables. What are the people doing?

      1. Rita

        Answer for Other Erik............

        Other Erik, that is the room where you can sign up for your number to bid on items. When you win a bid, the auctioneer gets your number and that information is given to the people in that room. When you’re ready to pay for all your items, you go back to that area and they have a listing of all your items and give you your total and collect your money there.

    11. Amish Dan


      Erik,I am a chef. I attend at least 3 mud sales a year to observe and purchase as much homemade food from the Amish that I can fit in my belly.

      I have been trying to figure out the marinade/recipe for the chicken they cook on those giant charcoal grills. Any thoughts?

      1. Linda

        Dan, the chicken barbecue sauce probably has a vinegar/butter base. While grilling, the chicken is turned and basted with the sauce every 5 or 10 minutes. Other methods use an overnight marinade, or a dry rub of seasonings, or a tomato-based sauce applied after grilling. I’m not sure why the recipe below says to sear the chicken.