Inviting you to join us downtown for Third Thursday

This week brings another of Discover Downtown Charles Town’s Third Thursday events, and we wanted to invite readers to make a special visit downtown.

Besides the music and other special events that are part of the Third Thursday lineup, the Spirit will offer three specials. First, anyone who stops by our office at 114 N. Charles St. to subscribe or renew a subscription between 5 and 8 p.m. Thursday will get a free year of our e-edition – the entire paper delivered to your inbox at noon every Wednesday (and a $19.95 value).

Second, we’d like to say thank you to any Third Thursday participants by offering anyone who stops in a coupon for a free classified ad. Your ad – selling whatever item you’d like, up to 50 words – can run any week you choose before Oct. 1.

Here’s your chance to get that unwanted piano, painting, wedding dress, Weedwacker, whatever out of your hair in exchange for a little extra money in your pocket.

And then our third Third Thursday “special” is simply the chance to connect in person with some of the Spirit’s staff, including Robert Snyder, the Spirit’s editor-publisher, and Jeff Brammer, the veteran journalist who has been putting together the paper’s lively sports section since January.

Being part of the downtown community is one of our favorite aspects of the Spirit. Unlike many newspapers today, ours is a family-owned business and not simply a link in a corporate chain where what matters most is the bottom line.

As a locally owned newspaper, we aim to be responsive to our readers. This week’s Third Thursday is the first time we’ve offered this kind of formal stop-in-and-share event, but we’re always happy to chat with readers who stop us at the farmer’s market, in line at Mellow Moods, at the library, just walking down the street.

It’s tempting to fret about the future of newspapers. Nationwide, it’s a scene of falling ad revenues and slipping circulation numbers. Many large publications coast to coast have stopped publishing.

But community journalism – the kind of content we’re putting together each week at the Spirit of Jefferson – is a different story.

Our focus is local. We don’t charge families to print Community Calendar events; announcements about weddings, engagements or anniversaries; school news; or obituaries. You’ll find in our paper the latest news from the school board, city councils, the Jefferson County Community Ministries; the Jefferson County Fair; the Washington Street Gallery; area churches; and on and on.

Though this is the first time the Spirit has taken this kind of formal role in Third Thursday, our commitment to downtown – and to Jefferson County and the Eastern Panhandle – is not new. We’re grateful to be able to put together the best newspaper for our readers each week, and thrilled to know you’re reading and enjoying our work. Thanks so much for making the Spirit part of your week.


– Christine Snyder

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