The large field behind Eastern Wayne Middle School transformed into a tent city of sorts Saturday afternoon.

Central/Eastern Wayne Alumni and Friends converged on the area to celebrate its 45th annual homecoming this weekend. Special events were held this year for classes ending with a "2" or "7."

The weekend kicked off Friday evening with a banquet featuring speaker Leroy McDowell, of the Central High School Class of 1967.

Among the festivities being held were a dutch breakfast at Murray's Saturday morning, followed by the annual parade in the Central Heights community and the traditional family picnic on the grounds of Eastern Wayne Middle.

As the parade broke up, parking behind the school was at a premium.

Alumni, families and friends crowded into the close quarters -- where pop-up campers, grills and coolers abounded.

Angel Davis and Krystal Scott, both from the Class of 1997, wore matching gold and navy T-shirts.

Miss Davis visits her hometown frequently, she said, and made the trip from Atlanta for the reunion.

"This is the first time that I participated in the parade," she said.

Miss Scott, who lives in Goldsboro, said she was enjoying the opportunity to reunite with classmates.

"We have seen quite a few," she said.

The friends tried to calculate how many were in their graduating class 20 years ago, settling on 200-plus.

They had taken advantage of the different options to get together over Memorial Day weekend.

"This morning we had breakfast together, last night was the banquet," Miss Scott said. "Today the parade and (Saturday) night is the ball."

"It's been pretty good, I have enjoyed everything," Miss Davis said.

Pamela Jackson graduated in 1982.

"I moved away. I'm an educator in Durham," she said. "I have been educating kids for almost 31 years."

She returns every year for the homecoming, she said.

"It's just reuniting with my family, my friends," she said. "This year was special. I was telling the classmates, we're living in a time when life is not promised.

"It was just so nice to have so many of our classmates together to celebrate."

She estimated there were between 45 and 50 from her graduating class who showed up this weekend. Social media helped with that, she said.

"Now that we have Facebook, it was kind of easier to kind of reach out," she said. "Even some that we didn't think knew.

"Everybody showed up. We met at Logan's last night and had a meet and greet. We're really energized because this is our 35th."

Earnestine Pridgen, Class of 1985, had not been to many previous reunions, she said.

"It's been wonderful," she said. "There are lots and lots of people I haven't seen in awhile."

The weekend wraps up today with a worship service at Miller's Chapel AMEZ Church at 10 a.m.

An awards, recognition and scholarship program will take place this afternoon at 5 p.m. at Woods Chapel UAFWB Church, with guest speakers Donnell Jackson Powell of the Class of 1962 and Cynthia Exum Kelly of the Class of 1977.