April-August: A benefit for local fire companies, the sales are so named because many of them are held outside on grounds that are muddy from the spring thaw. You can find everything from furniture and quilts to livestock and tools at these events. They’re also a great place to sample Lancaster County foods.
- April 6: Robert Fulton Fire Company, 2271 Robert Fulton Highway (Routes 272 and 222), Peach Bottom. 717-548-8995.
- April 12-13: Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Company, 33 Martic Heights Drive, Holtwood. 717-284-3023.
- April 20: Schoeneck Fire Company 125 N. King St., Denver. 717-336-6767.
- May 4: Fivepointville Fire Company, 1087 Dry Tavern Road, Denver. 717-445-4933.
- May 17-18: Weaverland Valley, Weaverland Produce Auction, 1030 Precast Road, New Holland. 717-445-5072.
- June 8: Kinzer Volunteer Fire Company, 3521 Lincoln Hwy. East, Kinzers. 717-442-4121.
- June 27-28: Lancaster County Carriage and Antique Auction (Bird-in-Hand Volunteer Fire Company), 338 North Ronks Road, Bird in Hand. 717-392-0112.
- June 28-29: Refton Volunteer Fire Co., 99 Church Street, Refton. 717-786-6364 or 717-786-9462.
- August 9-10: Gap Relief Auction (Mennonite Central Committee), Solanco Fairgrounds, 172 S. Lime Street, Quarryville. 717-786-0880.
- August 16-17: Intercourse Fire Company, 10 North Hollander Road, Intercourse. 717-768-3402.
- August 24: Bareville Volunteer Fire Company, 211 East Main St., Leola. 717-656-7554.
LAUNCH Music Conference & Festival
April 25-27: More than 160 bands from all over the country, representing a variety of musical styles — from rock to folk, from pop to punk, from country to funk — descend on downtown Lancaster. By day, industry professionals and artists meet and network during seminars and panel discussions. But nighttime is the real draw for music fans, when artists perform at various venues in a three-block radius. launchmusicconference.com
April 25-28: Adamstown may be a small town on the county’s northeast edge, but it has a big reputation when it comes to antiques. Known as Antiques Capital USA, it boasts dozens of antiques shops and markets, most open year-round. During Extravaganza week, treasure hunters will find extended hours, more dealers and special sales. Extravaganzas are held in June and September, too. antiquescapital.com
May 4-5: Discover downtown Lancaster galleries in a self-guided tour featuring special exhibits, meet-the-artist events, live demonstrations, children’s activities and more. lancasterartwalk.org
May 17-18: Celebrate this harbinger of spring at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse with homemade rhubarb foods, a rhubarb dessert baking contest, a rhubarb race car derby and more. kitchenkettle.com
May 25-26: Enjoy free wine sampling from more than 20 wineries, along with artisan crafts, cooking demonstrations, live music, kids’ activities and more at Mount Hope Estate in Manheim. Parking and admission are free, too. parenfaire.com
Lancaster Summer Arts Festival
June-August: Noontime concerts, art exhibits, a film series and children’s programming are all part of this 56-year tradition that keeps downtown Lancaster bustling both day and night in the summer months. And best of all, it’s all free. lsaf-lancaster.org
June 28: Celebrate the city’s culture and diversity with two stages of music, over 20 food vendors along North Queen Street and in Lancaster Square, two pub areas and fireworks. visitlancastercity.com
Living History Encampment
June 28-30: Visit the Robert Fulton Birthplace in Quarryville for a trip back to the Civil War era as soldiers and citizens, even generals and a president, share personal stories, demonstrate skills and re-enact life on and off the battlefield. southernlancasterhistory.org
Lititz Fourth of July
July 3: Patriotic parade followed by a free concert.
July 4: Lititz marks its 202nd Fourth of July celebration with entertainment, a baby parade, the Queen of Candles Pageant, games, food and fireworks. lititz4thofjuly.com
Washington Boro Tomato Festival
July 13 and 20: The simple tomato sandwich is the star of this sweet and juicy celebration in Pennsylvania’s unofficial tomato capital. Pair it with a cup of chicken corn soup and enjoy some live music, fun and games along the Susquehanna River in Washington Boro Community Park.
Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
August-October: Mount Hope Estate and Winery in Manheim hosts 13 weekends of fun in the Shire featuring costumed characters, jousting, music, dancing, handcrafted wares and more. parenfaire.com
Aug. 14-17: See the history of industry and agriculture roar to life in this 71st annual event featuring steam traction engines, hit-and-miss engines, threshing machines, antique tractors and automobiles, steam trains, a working sawmill, blacksmith shop and more. Billed as the largest steam and gas show in the East, the reunion is held on the grounds of the Rough and Tumble Museum in Kinzers. roughandtumble.org
Lancaster Craft Beerfest
Aug. 24: Enjoy food truck fare, live music and, of course, craft beer served up by more than 50 local, regional and national breweries at this popular downtown event. lancastercraftbeerfest.com
Long’s Park Art Festival
Aug. 30-Sept. 1: Lancaster city’s 80-acre Long’s Park plays host to this Labor Day weekend tradition. The juried fine art show features more than 200 artists from around the country and draws more than 10,000 visitors each year. longspark.org
Whoopie Pie Festival
Sept. 7: You haven’t really gotten a taste of Lancaster County until you’ve tasted a whoopie pie – a sort of cake sandwich with a creamy filling. Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn in Strasburg hosts this festival featuring more than 100 flavors of this sweet treat. You can also enter contests to launch them, play checkers with them and shout the loudest “Whooooopie!” whoopiepiefestival.com
Latin American Festival
Sept. 21: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with this free event hosted by the Latin American Alliance, featuring live music, dancing, food and entertainment in Long’s Park, on the outskirts of Lancaster city. latinamera.com