COVID-19 shut down much of life last year just as Lancaster County’s mud sales were about to bring together thousands of people.
For 2021, some fire companies canceled the fundraisers. Some are waiting to make a decision. Others are moving forward with the sales, often with some changes.
West Earl Fire Co. canceled its March sale last year because of the pandemic.
The sale usually is a significant fundraiser for the volunteer company, says Kris Pursel, company president. Other fundraisers and coronavirus loans like the Paycheck Protection Program helped make up for the loss. This year probably will not bring the same government assistance, Pursel says, so the company's bringing back the sale with some big changes.
Most of the bidding will happen online. There will be a preview at the fire company where bids can be placed, a concession made for the Plain community and those who don't use technology.
"It’s a difficult situation for everyone but the bottom line is we have the responsibility to find the right balance to afford to support our community, Pursel says.
Gordonville Fire Company’s spring sale is the group’s most-profitable fundraiser. Last year, Paradise Township supervisors encouraged the cancellation of the sale event to "impede the spread of the virus into our community." The sale went on as planned and this year, the show goes on with few changes.
All sales will be held outdoors. Categories traditionally sold inside will be skipped this year. And the popular quilt auction will move online.
“Our number one goal is to have a safe auction,” the sale committee shared in an update on Facebook.
At the Feb. 16 township meeting, Paradise Township supervisors discussed mud sales and said they expect all sales to follow the current CDC guidelines, says Lisa Herr, township secretary-treasurer.
Leacock Township supervisors have asked the Gordonville sale organizers to follow state health guidelines, says Frank Howe, chairman of the board of supervisors.
Organizers of the mud sale benefiting Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Co., waited as long as they could before making the tough decision to cancel the April 10 sale.
The sale brings in about a third of the fire company’s income, says Victor Ressler, company president.
While the sale is a fundraiser, the group considered the restrictions for large gatherings.
Moving the auctions outdoors wasn’t an option for a sale that’s seen high winds, rain and snow, Ressler says. Another factor is the fire company is a group dedicated to public safety.
“If we appear to be more concerned with making money than safety, that goes against what we’re all about,” he says.
The sale committee will plan for a sale to return in April 2022. In the meantime, there are plans in the works for a possible food fundraiser on this year’s sale day.
Here’s more information about sales throughout the county:
Strasburg Spring Sale: Canceled
A drive-thru chicken corn soup and chicken barbecue sale will open at 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, when the sale would have been held. For information, click here.
Bart Twp. Fire Co. spring mud sales: Canceled
For information, click here.
Gordonville Spring Mud Sale & Auction: Happening Saturday, March 13 with changes
This year, all auctions will be outdoors at the fire company, 3204 Vigilant St./Old Leacock Road, Gordonville. Masks are recommended and social distancing is encouraged. Some categories, such as crafts, sporting goods, indoor furniture, household box lots and horses will not be held this year to reduce crowd sizes. The quilt auction will be held online with details to come. For information, click here.
Penryn Fire Co. Mud Sale: Canceled
A drive-thru food sale will be held Saturday, March 20, when the sale would have been held. Details will be released. For information, click here.
West Earl Fire Company Consignment and Quilt Auction: Happening in mid-March with changes
West Earl’s auction will have online bidding at klinekreidergood.com from March 12-19. In-person preview will be March 17-19. Items will be picked up at the fire company Saturday, March 20, where there will be a baked goods, pulled pork sandwiches, subs and soup for sale. For information, click here.
Farmersville Fire Co. Community Sale: Postponed to April 23
The sales start at 4:30 p.m., April 23, a month later than usual at the fire company, 74 E. Farmersville Road, Ephrata. Organizers say waiting a month could lead to better weather on sale day.
“So we have access to open the doors and put up tents, spread out the people a little further,” says Lamar Zimmerman, president of the fire company.
For information, click here.
Gap Fire Company Mud Sale: Happening Saturday, March 27
More information about the sale will be shared soon, organizers say.
Robert Fulton Sale: Happening Saturday, April 3 2021
More information about the sale will be shared closer to the sale day, organizers say.
Rawlinsville Mud Sale: Canceled
Organizers of the sale, which benefits Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Co., decided Feb. 22 to not have a sale until April 2022. In the meantime, they are planning a possible food sale April 10.
Schoeneck Fire Company Mud Sale and Quilt Auction: Canceled
Fivepointville Consignment Auction/Mud Sale: Canceled
Organizers say they can't maintain CDC guidelines with the amount of people that attend the auction. They hope 2022's sale will be bigger than usual.
Take a 360-degree tour at a past mud sale below. Click here to watch the video on your mobile device.
Weaverland Valley Annual Mud Sale: Happening May 14-15.
This sale benefits Weaverland Valley Fire Dept.
Kinzer Fire Co. Mud Sale: Happening June 11-12
This sale will be held at Kinzer Volunteer Fire Co., 3521 Lincoln Hwy. East (Rt. 30), Kinzers.
Lancaster County Carriage and Antique Auction: Happening in June
The auctions, which benefit Bird-in-Hand Volunteer Fire Company, are still being planned.
Refton Fire Company Mud Sale: Unknown
Organizers say they plan to make a decision in the next month or two.
Gap Relief Auction: Happening Aug. 13-14
Organizers of this sale that benefits Mennonite Central Committee plan to have a sale Aug. 13-14.
Intercourse Fire Company Consignment Auction: Discontinued
The fire company is shifting from the auction to other fundraisers, such as a chicken barbecue sale May 1.