MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A hometown celebration is planned for this Sat., Sept. 10, for Maplewood native and Columbia High School graduate Ibtithaj Muhammad, who won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics in August as a member of the US Women's Saber Fencing Team.

The celebration on Saturday will include a motorcade along Springfield Ave. and a parade through Maplewood Village. The parade will end at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts where Muhammad will sign autographs.

Full schedule on Sat., Sept. 10 is as follows:

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  • 10:30 a.m.: Motorcade leaves NJ Fencing Alliance (50-58 Burnett Ave., Maplewood)
  • 10:40 a.m.: Stop, meet & greet at Hilton Branch of the Maplewood Library (1688 Springfield Ave., Maplewood)
  • 10:55 a.m.: Motorcade leaves library; proceeds down Springfield Ave. to Prospect St., to Tuscan Rd., to Valley St., to Baker St.
  • 11:10 a.m.: Stop, meet & great at Main Branch of the Maplewood Library (51 Baker St., Maplewood)
  • 11:30 a.m.: Parade kicks-off from library, continues through Maplewood Village
  • Noon: Meet & greet and autograph signing at the Burgdorff Center (10 Durand Rd., Maplewood)

Muhammad's profile on the USA Fencing website states that she is currently ranked No. 2 in the U.S., and No. 7 in the world. Muhammad finished in the Top 16 in the Women's Individual Saber competition at the Rio Olympics, and made Olympic history as the first U.S. athlete to compete in a hijab. 

The U.S. Olympic Fencing Team earned four medals in Rio - the third greatest haul for the team in its history, according to USA Fencing.

Muhammad has expressed her gratitude to the Maplewood community for their hometown support, which during the Olympics included a large banner in downtown Maplewood and lawn signs outside homes all over SOMA.