Experiencing Amish Culture with a Visit to the Lancaster County Mud Sales

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The snow is finally over, spring is here, the rains have started, and in Lancaster County it’s mud sale season!

What are mud sales you ask? Mud sales are the popular events held on weekends during the spring, February through June, and fall, August through October. You’ll see hundreds of folks attending the sales—Amish, Mennonites, and “English.”

Mud Sales, so called because of the frequent rainy, muddy condition of the ground, are popular and fun auctions that bring together locals and visitors alike to bid and buy items that are up for auction.

Quoting from The Official Mud Sale Guide (available at the Lancaster County Visitor’s Center on Greenfield Rd.), you’ll find items as: “building materials, horses, ponies, tack and feed, antiques, Amish-made furniture, craft items, buggies, carriages, tools, farming equipment and supplies, tractors and engines, groceries and produce, garden items, shrubbery, plants, sheds and gazebos, sporting goods, firewood, housewares, and some of the most amazing Amish quilts one could ever find.”

Quilts available for sale at an Amish Mud Sale in Lancaster County, PA.
Quilts available for sale at an Amish mud sale in Lancaster County.

Some items are under tents or in buildings, and it’s first-come on the seats provided, while other items such as horses, ponies, farm equipment, and garden items will be outside. When you arrive, be sure to find the registration area and register for your number, which allows you to officially bid on items. You will receive a sheet listing the times of the various auctions and their location on the auction grounds.

As there are usually several auctions going on at the same time, you may be hard pressed to decide where to go—to the quilt auction, antique auction, or any of the many other areas—so be sure to study the location and times of the various auctions to be where you want to be at the right time.

Come hungry because there’s plenty of food. Breakfast is served from usually about 7:30am with fresh doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee made by the Ladies Auxiliary, and lunch includes such popular Lancaster County traditions as chicken corn noodle soup, soft pretzels, barbecue chicken, sausage sandwiches, smoked meats, and delicious desserts as pies, cakes, cookies, and homemade ice cream. You won’t go home hungry!!

Be prepared to bid quickly if you want to buy something at a Lancaster County Mud Sale.
Be prepared to bid quickly if you want to buy something at a Lancaster County mud sale.

Sales start between 8:00-8:30am and be prepared because the auction moves quickly. The auctioneer speaks at a fast pace and is often hard to understand, so listen carefully and watch his “spotters” as they will be pointing to the highest bidder while scanning the area for the next bid.

See something you want? Hold your number high so the spotter can see it, and, if you are the winning bidder, your item will be brought to you.

When you are ready to leave, you’ll take your bidding number to the designated area to pay your bill. Visa and Master Card are the accepted credit cards. If you are the winning bidder on a quilt, you will receive your quilt once you have paid for it.

The mud sale tradition started in the 1960s as a way to help support the local volunteer fire companies. Now, 50 years later, monies from the mud sales have helped build fire houses, purchase equipment, and train First Responders. Your purchase will benefit these worthy causes.

Amish buggies at a Mud Sale in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Amish buggies are a common sight at mud sales.

Come to Lancaster County and have a fun day at the auction.

Here’s a listing of 2019’s mud sales in and around Lancaster County:

February 22-23: Strasburg Spring Consignment & Mud Sale, 203 Franklin Street, Strasburg

March 1-2: Bart Township Auction & Mud Sale, 11 Furnace Rd, Quarryville

March 8-9: Gordonville Spring Mud Sale & Auction, Gordonville Fire Co., Old Leacock Road, Gordonville

March 15-16: Penryn Volunteer Fire Co. Sale, 1441 North Penryn Road, Manheim

March 16: Airville Fire Co. Spring Consignment & Quilt Auction, 3576 Delta Road (Rt. 74), Airville

March 16: West Earl Fire Company Annual Quilt & Consignment Auction, 14 School Lane Ave, Brownstown

March 22: Farmersville Volunteer Fire Co. SaleFarmersville Mud Sale, 74 East Farmersville Road, Ephrata

March 22-23: Gap Fire Company Sale, 802 Pequea Avenue, Gap

April 6: Robert Fulton Sale, 2271 Robert Fulton Hwy. (Routes 272 & 222), Peach Bottom

April 13: Rawlinsville SaleRawlinsville Volunteer Fire Co., 33 Martic Heights Drive, Holtwood

April 20: Schoeneck Mud Sale and Quilt Auction, 125 North King Street, Denver

May 4: Fivepointville Auction, Fivepointville Fire Company, 1087 Dry Tavern Road, Denver

May 11: Honey Brook Fire Company Quilt Sale & Consignment Auction, Romano 4H Center, 1841 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook

May 17-18: Weaverland Valley Sale, Weaverland Produce Auction, 1030 Precast Rd. New Holland 

June 8: Kinzer Fire Co. Mud Sale, 3521 Lincoln Hwy. East (Rt. 30), Kinzers

June 27-28: Refton Fire Company Sale, 99 Church Street, Refton

June 27-28: Lancaster County Carriage and Antique Auction, Bird-in-Hand Volunteer Fire Company, 313 Enterprise Drive, Bird-in-Hand

August 10-11: Gap Relief Auction, Solanco Fairgrounds, 172 S. Lime Street, Quarryville

August 17: Intercourse Fire Company Consignment Auction, 10 North Hollander Road, Intercourse

August 24: Bareville Fire Company Consignment Auction, 211 East Main Street, Leola

September 21: Gordonville Fall Sale & Auction, Old Leacock Road, Gordonville

October 26: Cochranville Fire Company Mud Sale, 3135 Limestone Road, Cochranville

Note: Please be respectful of our Amish neighbors as they do not wish to have their picture taken unless they have given you their permission.

Photo at the top of the article used courtesy of DiscoverLancaster.com.

Updated February 14, 2019 with Lancaster County mud sale dates for 2019.

Looking for more things to do in Lancaster County? Check out our guide to Lancaster County, or favorite free things to do in the county, and the best art galleries in Lancaster city.

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8 thoughts on “Experiencing Amish Culture with a Visit to the Lancaster County Mud Sales”

  1. For any readers that live in North Central PA, the Beaver Run School Amish auction near Danville, PA is coming up on April 18th. Very similar to the Mud Sales this article speaks of and very fun to attend, even if just to watch the action the first time out!

  2. Juniata County has a huge Amish Sale yearly and it’s great. Watching the beautiful quilts auctioned off is fun. The sale located between Mifflintown and Thompsontown.

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