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By Sally Treadwell, Published 02/18/2016

Vol. 2, No. 3

For those unfamiliar with the term, “Mud Sale” let me clarify it. Mud Sales are benefit auctions held each Spring, almost always by local fire companies. The word “mud” came into common use because the sale area always extends beyond the firehouse and into a neighboring farm’s field. Because the great winter thaw starts around that time, the fields can get unbelievably muddy. Folks from far and wide don their boots, which while not necessarily fashionable, is practical.
Teenie-bopper Amish boys who live close by will all borrow the family wagon, and serve as valets for the Englishers, working for tips. Below is a photo of some of them anxiously driving towards the opening of the largest sale, the Gordonville Mud Sale.

Amish boys running to mud sale to be valets

Most of these Mud Sales will bring hundreds, even thousands of folks to bid, buy, eat, and just people watch. Quilts are almost always auctioned. But fire companies who hold two sales a year, in the spring and fall, will usually restrict quilt auctions to just one of those sales.

Quilt being auctioned at Mud Sale Quilted items at auction

Also, furniture, crafts, buggies, farm equipment, housewares, and sometimes even food is auctioned.

Buggies and farm equipment to be auctioned at the Mud Sale

Some tips for those wishing to attend their first Mud Sale:

  1. Bring cash, a checkbook, and ID. Not every fire company accepts credit cards. If you want to buy a whoopie pie, a hot pretzel, perchance a sloppy joe, or any food at the Mud Sale, you’ll probably need cash.
  2. Do your research in advance with directions from the fire company’s website, and be prepared to have a long walk into the property or even to park off-site and be bussed in by shuttle.
  3. Pack light. If you have a hike ahead of you, you don’t want to be carrying last month’s office notes or library membership cards. Just the essentials.
  4. Dress in layers. The weather is rather unpredictable at this time of year. You don’t want to be a few miles away from your car if the wind starts to kick up and temperatures become frigid. Obviously, the reverse can hold true as well.
  5.  Before you find a seat and stake your claim, make sure you register with the fire company office for a bidding number. You’ll need that to participate in any auction.
  6. Please be discreet with your use of cameras. The Amish really support these sales, both as volunteers and customers—and are often the auctioneers! Their religion forbids making graven images, so please don’t photograph them face-on.
  7. Do wear boots! I’m talking Dearfoams or Totes here, not Jimmy Choos.

After the sale is officially over, it is opened to

Above all, have fun! And write me with any of your experiences!

Following is a list of Lancaster County Auctions (with a few neighboring counties added for good measure) this Spring. Special thanks to the DiscoverLancaster.com website. For more information, please visit them at http://www.discoverlancaster.com/towns-and-heritage/amish-country/amish-mud-sales.asp)

February 27, 2016
Strasburg Spring Consignment & Mud Sale
Strasburg Fire Company
203 Franklin Street, Strasburg PA 17572
717-687-7232
strasburgfire.com

March 5, 2016
Bart Township Auction & Mud Sale
Bart Township Fire Company
11 Furnace Road, Quarryville PA 17566
717-786-3348
bart51.com

March 12, 2016
Gordonville Spring Mud Sale & Auction
Gordonville Fire Company
Old Leacock Road, Gordonville PA 17566
717-768-3869
43fireems.com

March 17, 2016
Farmersville Mud Sale
Famersville Volunteer Fire Company
74 East Farmersville Road, Ephrata PA 17522
717-354-5094
farmersvillefire.com

March 19, 2016
Penryn Volunteer Fire Company Sale
Penryn Volunteer Fire Company
1441 North Penryn Road, Manheim PA 17545
717-664-2825
penrynfire.com

March 19, 2016
Airville Volunteer Fire Company Mud Sale
Airville Volunteer Fire Company
3576 Delta Road, Airville PA 17602
717-862-3806
avfc55.com

March 26, 2016
Gap Fire Company Mud Sale & Auction
Gap Fire Company
802 Pequea Avenue, Gap PA 17527
610-593-2480
gapfire.org

March 26, 2016
West Earl Fire Company Quilt & Consignment Auction
West Earl Fire Company
14 School Lane Avenue, Brownstown PA 17508
717-989-5986
westearlfire.org

April 2, 2016
Robert Fulton Sale
Robert Fulton Volunteer Fire Company
2271 Robert Fulton Highway (Routes 272 & 222), Peach Bottom PA 17563
717-548-8995
513rffc.com

April 9, 2016
Rawlinsville Mud Sale
Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Company
33 Martic Heights Drive, Holtwood PA 17532
717-284-3023
rvfd58.com

May 7, 2016
Fivepointville Auction
Fivepointville Fire Company
1087 Dry Tavern Road, Denver PA 17517
717-445-4933
fivepointvillefire.net

May 14, 2016
Honey Brook Quilt Sale & Consignment Auction
Honey Brook Fire Company
Romano 4H Center, 1841 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook PA 19344
610-273-2688
honeybrookfire.org

May 21, 2016
Weaverland Valley Mud Sale
Weaverland Valley Fire Company
Terre Hill Community Park, 210 Lancaster Avenue, Terre Hill PA 17528
717-445-7066
weaverlandvalleyfire.com

 

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