Mud Sales are a Lancaster County Staple
Every year, each Lancaster County Fire Department, mostly volunteer and staffed by the local Amish holds a Mud Sale. See the mud sales are the BIG fundraiser for the fire company. Sure they have breakfasts and pot pie dinners and the occasional Amish wedding dinner to raise funds, but the biggie – the one where most of their funds come from for the year is the Mud Sale.
So – What are Mud Sales?
Well, once January has ended and the days are starting to get longer and warmer, the ground starts to thaw. What happens when you have thousands of people walking in fields that are starting to thaw? You guessed it – MUD.
So, the simple answer is a Mud Sale is a fund raising auction, hosted by the local volunteer fire department. There are multiple actions happening at the same time. But what’s its not is the sale of mud. Check out What is a Mud Sale for more information.
What Can You Find at the Mud Sales?
Pretty much, anything you might be looking for. Quoting from The Official Mud Sale Guide you’ll find items such 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.”
We’ve found that if you can stop by the venue the day before you can have a good look around and get a schedule of the auction times for the day of the auction. It’s also helpful to get your bidder number in advance of the auctions actually starting, that way you don’t miss out on something you really want while you are standing in line waiting for your number.
I also find it really helpful to know what I’m looking for and what I’m willing to pay for said items. I am a tough cookie when it comes to auctions and I have a firm “don’t go over” number in my head from the get go. I’m also not good at deciding if I want something in the heat of the moment – I could still kick myself for the missing out on a beautiful singer treadle when the auctioneer said sold (for $12!) while I was still trying to puzzle out where I would put it. Don’t be me.
If you’re looking for something specific, you very well might find it at a mud sale. Be aware they start early and we’re happy to make you a hot “grab and go breakfast” so you still get our B&B breakfast to give you the energy to stay till the end of the auctions.
Strasburg Spring Mud Sale – The first sale of the Season and it’s always packed. Historically, it has rained on the Strasburg mud sale weekend – so bring an umbrella and pack your boots!
Bart Mud Sale – Bart was probably my favorite of the auctions. Seriously! I never even went into the firehall to see the quilts. We bought 2 twin beds which Mr. Carriage Corner turned into wonderful benches. The plants were also plentiful, although you really have to be on your game to get a good price on the plants. There were loads of Amish gathered round bidding on the plants.
Gordonville Spring Mud Sale & Auction – This is a biggie! People fly in to attend the Gordonville Spring Sale as they are known for their antiques and collectibles. The sale starts on Friday night with most of the antique being auctioned off then. Gordonville also had amazing quilts and loads of collectibles such as glass oil bottles with the metal carriers. Please note, you will have to take a bus to the Gordonville Mud Sale which you can get right across the street from Carriage Corner.
Farmersville Mud Sale – This was another great sale! Most of this one happened inside the firehouse. The quilts were gorgeous, but the ladies auxiliary knocks themselves out with the doughnuts! If nothing else, you wanted to attend this one for the baked goods.
Robert Fulton Mud Sale – We have guests who have come two years in a row to attend this sale. Last year they won the bid for several peanut jars – in both pink and green! Being a Nosy Nelly, I asked what she got them for – honestly it was between a third and half of what I’d seem them go for at Gordonville.
Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Action – This is the Bird in Hand Mud Sale – the weather is generally hot! You’ll want to go by on Thursday and take a look around. Get your bidder number and decide what you want. This sale, like a few of the others, has lots of antiques and collectibles and dealers are in attendance. So come prepared to pay a little bit higher price than you might at other sales.
Book your rooms early and book direct! The mud sales are incredibly popular and we will fill up. As I mentioned, we have a few grab and go hot breakfast items we’ve been working on to get you out the door earlier so you won’t miss a thing.