There’s so much that’s unique in Hershey and our Central Pennsylvania Region but sometimes these special experiences get missed in the excitement about Hershey Park and all that chocolate. This year we’re on a bit of a mission to let you know about some of our favorite attractions in Hershey, PA
Mud Sales are great place to start!
Lancaster County’s Mud Sales provide day long adventures that are worth getting up early and putting on your sturdiest boots. A weekend staple in Pennsylvania Dutch Country and something that’s unseen anywhere else in the country, they run through mid April and some re-designated consignment sales continue into the summer and fall. Named for the just thawed fields in which they are held, the sales are a combination auction, flea market, livestock and quilt show all rolled into one. They began in the 1960 as a way of supporting the local volunteer fire companies. Today fifteen fire companies hold sales, some of them twice a year.
The sales are giant auctions that bring the Amish and English (us) together to bid on everything from produce and livestock to handicrafts, antiques, housewares and clothing. Quite literally there’s everything including the kitchen sink up for sale. It’s also a great opportunity to purchase an authentic Amish quilt. These treasures, handmade and donated by Amish quilters are displayed and auctioned inside the firehouses
The sales often have as many as six or seven auctions going on at the simultaneously, with teams of Amish young people on hand to help winning bidders cart purchases to their cars. For English visitors, it is perhaps one of the best ways to rub elbows with the Amish community. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in an environment where you – everyone who is not Amish is in the minority.
And, of course, there’s the food – filling farm fare such as chicken corn soup, pot pie, hot cider, home made birch beer, soft pretzels, sticky buns and shoo fly pie offer chilly bargain hunters warmth and rest in the fire hall.
Participating is easy. They start early at 8 or 8:30. Thousands come from all over the area –more than half in traditional dark clothing and straw hats worn by the Amish. After parking in a designated area (BMW’s and buggies side by side) you take a shuttle to the sale where you show a driver’s license, get a bidder number and you’re ready. When you leave, you get back in line and pay for what you bought with cash, an in-state check or a credit card. We’re happy to provide directions from our Hershey bed and breakfast.
Here’s a list of upcoming sales:
March 8 — Gordonville Spring Mud Sale & Auction, Gordonville Fire Company, Old Leacock Road, Gordonville, 768-3869.
March 15 — Bart Township Building Materials and Craft Sale, Bart Township Fire Company, 11 Furnace Road, Quarryville, 786-3348.
March 15 — Penryn Volunteer Fire Company Sale, Penryn Volunteer Fire Company, 1441 North Penryn Road, Manheim.
March 22 — West Earl Fire Company Quilt & Consignment Auction, West Earl Fire Company, 14 School Lane Ave., Brownstown, 989-5986.
March 21-22 — Gap Fire Company Sale, Gap Fire Company, 802 Pequea Avenue, Gap, 442-9549.
April 5 — Robert Fulton Sale, Robert Fulton Volunteer Fire Company, 2271 Robert Fulton Highway (Routes 272 & 222), Peach Bottom, 548-8995.
April 12 — Rawlinsville Sale, Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Company, 33 Martic Heights Drive, Holtwood, 284-3023.
May 10 — Honey Brook Fire Company Quilt Sale & Consignment Auction, Honey Brook Fire Company, Romano 4-H Center, 1841 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook, 610-273-2688.
May 17 — Schoeneck Fire Company’s Consignment Auction , Schoeneck Fire Company, 125 N. King St., Denver, 336-6767.
June 27 — Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction, Bird-in-Hand Volunteer Fire Company, 313 Enterprise Drive, Bird-In-Hand, 392-0112.
June 28 — Refton Fire Company Mud Sale, Refton Volunteer Fire Company, 99 Church St., Refton, 786-9462.
August TBD — Intercourse Fire Company Consignment Auction, Intercourse Fire Company, 10 N. Hollander Road, Intercourse, 768-3402.
August TBD — Kinzer Fire Company Mud Sale, Kinzer Volunteer Fire Company, 3521 Lincoln Highway East (Route 30), Kinzers, 442-4121.
Aug. 30 — Bareville Fire Company Consignment Auction, Bareville Volunteer Fire Company, 211 E. Main St., Leola, 656-7554.
Sept. TBD — Gordonville Fall Mud Sale & Auction, Gordonville Fire Company, Old Leacock Road, Gordonville, 768-3869.
October TBD — Strasburg Fall Consignment & Mud Sale, Strasburg Fire Company, 46 W. Main St., Strasburg, 687-7232.
Oct. 25 — Cochranville Fire Company Mud Sale, Cochranville Volunteer Fire Company, 3135 Limestone Road, Cochranville, 610-593-5800.