As prom time draws nearer, and mothers and daughters haggle over the right dress at the right price, the Parent Boosters of the Westminster High School Class of 1993 is offering a one-stop-shopping money-saver, Prom Fair '93.
This second annual event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow in the former Greenfelt's location in Cranberry Mall, across from the China Lion Restaurant.
Besides prom gowns, the fair offers help in other areas of preparation for the biggest social event of a teen's year, said Jeanne Bass of the Parent Boosters.
"We'll have 20 to 25 vendors like hairdressers, florists, manicurists, tuxedo rentals and an alterations lady all day with displays and advice -- all the different things they might run into getting ready for the prom," Mrs. Bass said.
Additionally, many mall merchants are offering discounts for products and services for a prom.
But for those still seeking the perfect dress, the prom fair this year will offer a selection of more than 400 gowns in all styles, sizes and colors, collected from girls who want to sell their old dresses.
"We were just mobbed last Saturday at our drop-off," Mrs. Bass said. "We probably got 400 dresses, some really beautiful ones. We got 59 dresses at our March 6 drop-off, and of course we got snowed out March 13."
Gowns available are short, long, sequined, fancy, stylish and ranging in sizes from very petite to large.
"We should be able to accommodate just about everybody," Mrs. Bass said.
The Prom Fair works this way: Girls have a dress from last year's prom, or maybe a wedding, that they don't want anymore. They bring it to Prom Fair and say what they'd like to sell the dress for. The helpers offer advice and put the dress on the rack.
If the dress is sold, the owner gets 75 percent of the price, and the Parent Boosters gets 25 percent, which goes to the class for special activities.
If a dress doesn't sell, the owner gets it back. Pickup is from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday in Greenfelt's.
Last year, dresses priced from $50 to $75 sold quickest, although a few did go for more, Mrs. Bass said.
"We try to keep prices reasonable because people buying a used dress don't want to pay a whole lot," she said.
A tip for those selling used dresses: "If it has been dry-cleaned and stored in a good way, it makes a better appearance and will go for a better price," Mrs. Bass said.
With the event being held in the mall, the Parent Boosters are hoping for a lot of walk-in business. To generate interest, roving models will walk around the mall in some of the dresses.
Mrs. Bass urges girls planning to attend the fair to wear a bathing suit they can try dresses on over -- and to leave their boyfriends at home.
"We have very limited dressing room space, and if the girls have a bathing suit or leotard on, they can try the dresses on right on the floor," Mrs. Bass said. "We try to keep just women on the floor in the area to make it more comfortable for the girls."
Dresses will be hung on racks by size to make it easier for patrons to shop. Parent Boosters' members will be on hand to help.
Although Prom Fair is sponsored by Westminster High, it is not limited to Westminster students, but is open to anyone needing a prom gown.
"It's a county event," Mrs. Bass said.
Admission is $2, down from last year's $5. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
& Information: 848-8077.