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The Observer is committed to bringing Jefferson County, WV, the Eastern Panhandle, and beyond, the engaging, impactful columns and stories they want, as well as the community information they need. We also pride ourselves on offering our advertisers a top-shelf promotional opportunity through both print and online platforms. We're changing the game in community news. We hope you can join us as we build a new way forward!

Eastern Panhandle Pride Events in JuneSet for next Wednesday, June 12, from 7-9pm, at Abolitionist Ale Works (129 W. Was...
06/05/2019

Eastern Panhandle Pride Events in June

Set for next Wednesday, June 12, from 7-9pm, at Abolitionist Ale Works (129 W. Washington St., Charles Town, West Virginia), Eastern Panhandle Pride will host its monthly get-together—to discuss anything and everything.

The group changes locations regularly to reach different communities throughout the Panhandle, and the event represents a quality chance to catch up with friends, meet new ones, and talk about the issues and policies important to the group—as well as updates on Pride events.

— — One of those events is set for Fri/Sat, June 28-29, in Shepherdstown, comprising a pub crawl, a street fair, and a drag show. Find out more at the above EP Pride FB link as well as www.eppridewv.com.

Andrew Lawler: The Secret Token Book Signing and TalkThis Saturday, June 8, from 5-6pm, at Four Seasons Books (116 W. Ge...
06/04/2019

Andrew Lawler: The Secret Token Book Signing and Talk

This Saturday, June 8, from 5-6pm, at Four Seasons Books (116 W. German St., Shepherdstown), author and journalist Andrew Lawler will give a talk and signing of his book "The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke."

What happened to the lost colony of Roanoke? For four hundred years, that question has consumed historians and amateur sleuths, leading only to dead ends and hoaxes. But after a chance encounter with a British archaeologist, Lawler discovered that solid answers to the mystery were within reach.

For more info: 304-876-3486 and http://www.fourseasonsbooks.com/

Art of the Forge: Blacksmith Workshop in Harpers FerryA two-day blacksmith workshop is scheduled for this Saturday/Sunda...
06/04/2019

Art of the Forge: Blacksmith Workshop in Harpers Ferry

A two-day blacksmith workshop is scheduled for this Saturday/Sunday, June 8/9, from 10am-4pm, in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (171 Shoreline Drive).

Nineteenth-century blacksmiths were crucial. Their trade varied from keeping doors on hinges and wagons in proper working order to making weapons for the town's U.S. Armory, for national defense.

Attendees will learn the historic trade and echo the clang of the hammer on hot iron—just as they did 150 years ago. Cost is $150/person (minimum age to participate is 18). All materials included with cost.

Info: 304-535-6029

First Friday Coffeehouse Features L.A. Composer THIS FRIDAYAccomplished singer-songwriter/TV/movie score composer Ernest...
06/03/2019

First Friday Coffeehouse Features L.A. Composer THIS FRIDAY

Accomplished singer-songwriter/TV/movie score composer Ernest Troost is the First Friday Coffeehouse feature performer THIS FRIDAY, June 7.

The popular concert series is held at Trinity Orchard House (4599 Shepherdstown Road [Route 45], Martinsburg, West Virginia).

Doors open for social time and open-mic sign-up 7pm. Open-mic starts at 7:15pm and is on a first-come, first serve-basis. Performers have the opportunity to showcase their talent in an eight-minute segment to an attentive audience in one of the area’s premier listening rooms.

Troost’s amazing success story is well worth exploring further, visit www.ernesttroost.com. Snacks and refreshments served. A $10 donation per person is requested.

Fridays at Five Summer Concert Series in MartinsburgRunning Friday evenings, from THIS FRIDAY, June 7, through August 23...
06/03/2019
Main Street Martinsburg

Fridays at Five Summer Concert Series in Martinsburg

Running Friday evenings, from THIS FRIDAY, June 7, through August 23, from 5-7pm, enjoy a FREE evening of outdoor entertainment with a beer & wine garden in Martinsburg, West Virginia's Town Square.

Beverages will be for sale—and you can enjoy a picnic dinner from a downtown restaurant. Bands will perform a variety of music styles. Pets allowed, but must be on a leash. Additionally, the Martinsburg Farmers Market will also take place on Fridays (through September 27) at the same location, from 4:30-7pm.

Find out more at www.mainstreetmartinsburg.com

Martinsburg’s railroading history dates back to the 1840s with the presence of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. Engine and machine shops were used to expand the company. During the Civil War, railroads played an important part in transporting supplies and troops. On May 22, 1861, Thomas .....

The June issue is out - grab your copy via newsstands throughout the Panhandle, or from your own mailbox when it arrives...
06/02/2019

The June issue is out - grab your copy via newsstands throughout the Panhandle, or from your own mailbox when it arrives.

Our cover photo was a fun one - Chris Grant of C&G Jerk Authentic Jamaican Chicken fame took a break from his newly opened jerk chicken center next door to The Black Dog Coffee Company (8001 Charles Town Rd., Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia) to smile for the camera (and a wonderful smile it is!). Read all about this delicious Panhandle endeavor on pg. 27.

What else? We took a deeper look into Jefferson County Schools, WV's upcoming student support center in an interview with superintendent Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson.

We also spotlighted the exciting new electric bikes at Harper’s Ferry Bike Rentals. If you're jonesing to cruise HF's many scenic hills while barely pedaling, you seriously need to check this out!

And have you heard of the Shenandoah Planing Mill? Well, you have now. Read up on this awesome new throw-back company on pg. 12-13.

As usual, there's A LOT more to the June issue - but we don't want to spoil the surprise. Dig in, and enjoy!

Animal Welfare Society Fundraiser Set for JuneThe Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County is proud to announce their ...
06/01/2019

Animal Welfare Society Fundraiser Set for June

The Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County is proud to announce their participation in the Dining for Dollars fundraiser at Glory Days Grill, set for the month of June.

Every time you dine in June at Glory Days Grill in Ranson, West Virginia, the restaurant will contribute 10% of your total food purchases to AWSJC.

Keep your copy of your guest check (not credit card receipt), and either mail it to: AWS P.O. Box 147, Charles Town, WV, 25414, place it in the collection box at Petco in Ranson or United Bank in Charles Town, give it to a board member you know, or drop it off at the shelter on Leetown Pike (23 Poor Farm Road, Kearneysville, West Virginia).

Find out more at www.awsjc.org or 304-725-0589.

Charles Town Library Announces June Schedule:— — — Summer Reading: register now for CTL’s ((200 E. Washington St...
05/31/2019

Charles Town Library Announces June Schedule:

— — —

Summer Reading: register now for CTL’s ((200 E. Washington St., Charles Town, West Virginia) summer reading program “A Universe of Stories.” This free program rewards children (birth to age 13) for tracking their reading and meeting daily reading goals. Family and independent readers are encouraged to sign up. Logged reading starts on June 9 and runs through August 2. Readers who return completed logs five out of eight weeks will receive a certificate.

Additionally, children are encouraged to attend summer programs held at the Library:

— Storytime (birth–2nd grade) on Mondays (10:30am) and Thursdays (4pm) continues throughout the summer and can be counted toward daily reading goals.

— June and July: Library is celebrating 30th anniversary of the Over The Mountain Studio Tour with displays in the lobby.

— Wednesdays (3pm): Poetry & Prose Writing Group.

— June 8: Second Saturday Story Time & Craft, 10am.

— June 18: Book Club, 3:30pm, and Read with the Dogs, 5pm (must reserve slot).

Find out more at: www.ctlibrary.org

Although The Gallery at 105 (105 Princess St., Shepherdstown) has a familiar feel, the space has only been dedicated to ...
05/31/2019
Shepherdstown Art Gallery Reinvents Itself and Feeds the Soul - The Observer

Although The Gallery at 105 (105 Princess St., Shepherdstown) has a familiar feel, the space has only been dedicated to the sale of local art since the summer of 2018.

Owners Tom Conant and Jared Scheerer decided the time was right to transform their marketing and design firm—Studio 105—into a gallery space where visitors to the town could locate fine art.

Read all about one of Shepherdstown's must-visit locations right here:

When walking past the window at 105 Princess Street in Shepherdstown (WV), it’s easy for the eye to draw inward. Through careful curation, The Gallery at 105 not only provides visitors a quality collection of fine artworks by local artists, but a nostalgic feel of the art scene that is reminiscent...

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Sneak Peek Collections Offered This Month— — — Monday(s) June 3 + 10 (2pm):...
05/30/2019

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Sneak Peek Collections Offered This Month

— — —

Monday(s) June 3 + 10 (2pm): “Sneak Peek: Collections from the Museum Archives,” Lower Town, The John Brown Wax Museum (168 High St., Harpers Ferry, West Virginia), 'Allies for Freedom' room. Meet the park’s curator during this rare opportunity to view objects from the museum collection that are not typically on display.

Monday, June 24 (2pm), Lower Town: “Artifact Sneak Peak,” John Brown Wax Museum, 'Allies for Freedom' room. Behind-the-scenes tour of rarely seen objects in the archeology collection (also offered on July 1 + September 9).

What's Happening at The Shepherdstown Public Library in June: — — — June 6: A LEGO Club (ages 4+), 4:30pm. June 7:...
05/30/2019

What's Happening at The Shepherdstown Public Library in June:

— — —

June 6: A LEGO Club (ages 4+), 4:30pm.

June 7: FOSL Book Club, 5pm: rescheduled discussion of Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread.

June 8: “A Universe of Stories” and indoor scavenger hunt for all ages, 11am—and “Summer Reading Kickoff Carnival” behind the Library, 12-2pm, to sign up for summer reading program (free tote bags for first 100 adults and first 250 kids and teens).

June 11: Md. Science Center with experiments on the states of matter, 11am at the War Memorial Building (ages 5+, doors open at 10:30am).

June 12: Library Board to meet, 7pm (open to public).

June 17: A LEGO Club (ages 4+), 11am.

Jun. 18: “Music with Tony M.” at 11am (War Memorial Building, doors open at 10:30am).

June 20: “Little Astronauts Story Time” at 11:15am (infants to 3 yrs.).

June 22: “Hogwarts at the Library” at 11am: sixth book in the Harry Potter series (ages 10-14, must pre-register at 304-876-2783).

June 24: A LEGO Club (ages 4+), 11am.

June 25: “Critters and Conservation” brings five exotic animals at 11am (ages 3+, War Memorial Building, doors open at 10:30am.)

June 27: “Little Astronauts Story Time” at 11:15am (infants to 3 yrs.). June 29: A LEGO Club (ages 4+), 11am.

— For more information, email [email protected] or [email protected] ... or visit http://www.lib.shepherdstown.wv.us/

"... without favoring, penalizing, or stigmatizing either parent, there are many ways to equalize and support the proces...
05/29/2019
Amendment 1: Government in Reverse - The Observer

"... without favoring, penalizing, or stigmatizing either parent, there are many ways to equalize and support the process of creating, nurturing, and sustaining healthy families that can thrive ... "

Observer contributor Carol Williams took a deeper look into West Virginia's abortion policy in our May issue.

Without a doubt, this one's worth a read:

West Virginia Amendment 1, stating that “this Constitution does not protect the right to abortion,” is what I would call “backwards family planning.” We all agree that our goal is to bring children into the world who are wanted and able to thrive. We also agree that government is not just th...

Church of the Wild Two Rivers is a new Panhandle spiritual community formed with the aim of bringing people together in ...
05/29/2019
New ‘Church of the Wild’ Connects Spirituality and Mother Earth - The Observer

Church of the Wild Two Rivers is a new Panhandle spiritual community formed with the aim of bringing people together in nature to find a deeper connection with the divine.

It is loosely affiliated with the Wild Church Network in the U.S. and Canada.

We covered this story in our May issue - read more here:

According to recent polls, nearly a quarter of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, including atheists, agnostics, and those who don’t identify with any particular religion. However, just about as many people identify as “spiritual” but not religious. For as far back as history can show, hu...

Adult Summer Reading Program at the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public LibrarySummer Reading at Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public L...
05/28/2019

Adult Summer Reading Program at the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library

Summer Reading at Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library (151 Polk Street, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia) is a mix of activities and a fun reading challenge throughout the summer months.

The goal is to encourage patrons to check out and read books. You get to choose the number and type of books you want to read. This initiative runs from June 3–July 25.

Sign up anytime on or after Monday, June 3. This is an ongoing sign-up for the months of June and July. Pick up your readings and begin.

Record the library books you read and receive a ticket. One book equals one ticket. The last day to earn a ticket will be Thursday, July 25. They will draw for the adult raffle prizes at the Potluck. (You don’t have to be present to win.) Adult programming starts June 17.

Find out more at: www.bolivarharpersferrylibrary.org or 304-535-2301

The popular annual "Bark in the Park” Fundraiser for the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County is set for this Sa...
05/28/2019

The popular annual "Bark in the Park” Fundraiser for the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County is set for this Saturday, June 1, from 10am-2pm (registration 9:30am) at Jefferson Memorial Park in Charles Town, West Virginia.

This major fundraiser for AWSJC depends on the contributions from pledges to help sustain the Society’s animal shelter on Leetown Pike and other programs. The event will comprise a host of canine-themed activities and events.

For more information: awsjc.org or 304-725-5972

Shepherdstown Community Club 1st Weekend Handmade Market This Saturday/SundaySet for this Saturday, June 1, from 10am-7p...
05/28/2019

Shepherdstown Community Club 1st Weekend Handmade Market This Saturday/Sunday

Set for this Saturday, June 1, from 10am-7pm, and Sunday, June 2, from 9am-4pm, at the War Memorial Building (102 E. German St., Shepherdstown), the 1st Weekend Handmade Market is a unique pop-up boutique-like arts and crafts market featuring local artists and makers.

Join them in celebrating local talent, meet the artists, and shop for fine handcrafted art, jewelry, home decor, accessories, gifts, and a whole lot more.

Multiple Events Set to Celebrate Ranson THIS SATURDAY Taking place on Fairfax Boulevard in Ranson, West Virginia, this S...
05/27/2019

Multiple Events Set to Celebrate Ranson THIS SATURDAY

Taking place on Fairfax Boulevard in Ranson, West Virginia, this Saturday, June 1, from 10am-3pm, the 10th-Annual Ranson Car Show is sure to excite, stimulate, and inspire.

Free and open to the public, this event will be moved to the Ranson Civic Center in the event of bad weather.

*** ALSO happening THIS SATURDAY, the 2019 Ranson Festival is a is a fun-filled and family friendly event, from 10am-4pm, boasting music, food, and a wide variety of vendors. Children's activities include face painting, free pony rides, and free moon bounces.

Additional info: [email protected] or 304-724-3862

We featured Shepherdstown's soon-to-come tiny-home community Tiny Haven WV in this month's issue. Learn more right here:
05/27/2019
Trading Bigger Is Better for Less is More - The Observer

We featured Shepherdstown's soon-to-come tiny-home community Tiny Haven WV in this month's issue.

Learn more right here:

— Tiny home community pops up outside of Shepherdstown. As a rule, most American’s like their homes big, but Danielle LaRock and Jonathan Carnill have a desire to live tiny in an 8.5 x 20-foot dwelling. They hope to develop a space for other owners of tiny homes to enjoy their “tinys” as wel...

A Midsummer Night's Dream (A Youth Production) Continues in early June at The Black Box Arts Center Next SaturdaySet for...
05/26/2019

A Midsummer Night's Dream (A Youth Production) Continues in early June at The Black Box Arts Center Next Saturday

Set for 7pm next Saturday, June 1, and 2pm, Sunday, June 2, at The Black Box Arts Center (113 S. Princess St., Shepherdstown), this Shakespeare classic tells the tale of fairy mischief is a fantastic introduction to the Bard's work!

This story of mistaken identity, love, and laughter comes alive with a liberal sprinkling of poetry, humor, and - of course - plenty of theater magic!

Find out more right here: 304-870-4685 and https://www.blackboxartscenter.org/

Summer Music Camps Set for Shepherd University— — — — — Shepherd University Music String Camp and Jazz Camp / ...
05/26/2019
Shepherd University | Music | Community Program

Summer Music Camps Set for Shepherd University

— — — — —

Shepherd University Music String Camp and Jazz Camp / ages: 8-18

— String Orchestra Camp, both Jr. and Sr. levels
June 17-21

— Jazz Camp, both Jr. and Sr. levels, June 24 - 28

— — — — —

For registration information, contact Sherry Sykes, Coordinator, at [email protected]

And find out more at: http://www.shepherd.edu/music/community-program

The official Web site of Shepherd University, a liberal arts institution located one hour from Washington, D.C., in historic Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

"Spring into Summer" Art Show and Reception at The Firehouse GallerySet to run June 1 - June 30 at The Fire House Galler...
05/25/2019

"Spring into Summer" Art Show and Reception at The Firehouse Gallery

Set to run June 1 - June 30 at The Fire House Gallery (108 N. George Street, Charles Town, West Virginia), this Washington Street Artists Co-op event will feature a colorful show of pastel paintings by Virginia Winston and floral/butterfly photography by Mary-Jo Bennett.

A reception at the gallery will take place on June 15 from 5-7pm. The gallery is open Wednesday–Saturday from 12pm-5pm and Sunday from 1pm-4pm.

FRIENDS OF MUSIC AWARD SCHOLARSHIPS TO TWO AREA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS The Friends of Music have awarded $500 scholarships...
05/25/2019

FRIENDS OF MUSIC AWARD SCHOLARSHIPS TO TWO AREA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

The Friends of Music have awarded $500 scholarships to two graduating seniors from area high schools – presented at a Friends' concert last Saturday, May 18, at Trinity Episcopal Church Shepherdstown.

The recipients were Lilly Noel, of Shepherdstown, who will graduate June 2 from the St. James School, and Walter Kester, of Charles Town, West Virginia, who graduated May 19 from Jefferson High School (Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia).

Both of the students were recommended highly for their musical abilities, leadership qualities, and character. Noel has been a member of the string program for community students at Shepherd University for the past six years. An outstanding violinist, she earned the title of concertmaster of the Shepherd Community Orchestra for the 2018-2019 season.

Kester began playing tuba in middle school when he was living in Weatherford, Texas. He was named "Best Brass Player" in his eighth-grade year there and then took up the sousaphone in the ninth grade. His family moved to Charles Town in the middle of his freshman high school year, and he has been an integral member of the Jefferson High School Marching Band, Concert Band, and Symphonic Band for the past four years.

He plans to major in music education and performance at West Virginia Wesleyan University.

—— —— ——

The Friends of Music is a Shepherdstown-based, non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. It supports the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, the only professional chamber music orchestra in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and one of only three of such orchestras in the state.

For more information, visit www.friendswv.org.

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