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Union Bridge woman sells budget-priced formal wear


Where can you find a beautiful prom or bridal party dress for less than $30? Or buy a silk, beaded, drop-dead-gorgeous wedding gown for less than $400? Or buy a dress worn by a former Miss America?

Entrepreneur Chris Page of Union Bridge has the answers to these questions, and she's ready to help you find the dress of your dreams for the prom, senior dance, even your wedding. And you'll find it without spending a fortune.

Mrs. Page has opened Christine Ann's Formal Fashions, a consignment shop in nearby Hanover, Pa., and she's having a great time finding the very new or nearly new merchandise that might make a woman's dream come true, even if her last name isn't Trump. If you know Chris Page, you won't need a fairy godmother to help you get ready for the dance.

She has stocked nearly 200 formal dresses, "from the short minis to the Cinderella-type gowns," she says, in prices from $22 for an older, basic dress to several hundred dollars for the newest, never-worn merchandise.

"Being in Hanover, near the outlets and other discount stores, we need to price the dresses so we can compete," she says.

Since she opened her shop in October, the demand for women's nearly new or never-worn formal wear has necessitated a business expansion. Mrs. Page is moving into a bigger space and is transforming a warehouse into a welcoming shop and stocking it with more merchandise. She has been painting and stenciling its walls and adding other creative touches.

In addition to formal dance dresses and bridal gowns, Mrs. Page has formal vintage clothing, mother-of-the-bride dresses and suits, shoes, gloves. "Everything is Macy's or Saks Fifth Avenue quality," she emphasizes.

Mrs. Page will create one-of-a-kind wedding veils and hats for the bride-to-be, and assemble silk bouquets for the wedding party.

She began a career in the medical field, but discovered a talent for creative endeavors when she was planning her wedding 14 years ago. A florist told her that the kind of flowers she wanted for her wedding couldn't be done, so she proved the florist wrong by doing the arrangements herself.

Now, after years of taking flower arranging classes and doing extensive reading, plus helping a friend in the consignment business, she's in business for herself.

Christine Ann's Formal Fashions is at 16 Baltimore St., near the square in Hanover. Consignments are always needed, but they must be in tip-top shape. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Information: 717-637-9494.


African storyteller Bill Grimmetter, known as Malife Nkruhmah, will be at the Taneytown branch of Carroll County library May 22 at 7 p.m. He'll weave fascinating tales from Africa for about 50 minutes.

The library also will sponsor "A Talk with the Crash Dummies" May 24 at 4:30 p.m. The library is teaming up with the Carroll County Health Department to promote Buckle Up America Week. Kids will talk with the "dummies," watch a video and discuss the importance of safety belts. Information: 751-1980.


Don't forget the International Festival at New Windsor Service Center on Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. The event includes cow painting; dancing by Chinese, South American and African artists; food from around the world; storytelling; crafts and more.

Where else can you take a trip around the world without leaving the county? The event is free. Information: 635-8711.


The Brethren Center is planning another event May 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch master Ghanaian weaver Gilbert Bobbo demonstrate his talents at the loom.

Mr. Bobbo is conducting workshops for the Smithsonian Institution this spring, and will move his looms to New Windsor for a demonstration.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn about an ancient craft and its modern applications. Information: 635-8711.


Congratulations to Elmer Wolfe music teacher Dennis Davis and his young musicians for a wonderful concert last Thursday.

The instrumentalists performed more than 30 numbers as the concert showcased individuals, small groups and ensembles. It was as good an effort by an elementary school group as I've heard, and the students' concentration and earnestness was impressive.

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