The yellow tape struggled to hold back the masses of anxious children.
Dressed in everything from frilly Easter dresses to worn-out blue jeans more than 1,500 of them surged against the tape serving as the only barrier to their colored treasure.
Then, just minutes before the 30th annual Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt was to begin, the blowing rain that had dampened the field all morning turned to snow.
"We do it every year, rain or shine. The weather doesn't change much. We had to plastic bag the stuffed animals, but we are still doing it," said Wendy Tims, Carson City Jaycees president.
Nine-year-old Brianna Bacon, of Carson City, was among those braving the elements. Her goal was to get at least 20 eggs. Instead of the traditional Easter basket, Bacon opted for a shoulder bag.
"It's softer in there, and it will be easier to get the eggs in quicker," Bacon said.
She said her plan was to run farther out into the field and work her way back, looking for eggs with a butterfly, heart or star on them.
The eggs with stencils on them were turned in for one of the 1,500 prizes donated by local businesses and organizations, including stuffed animals, candy and toys.
It was a drastically different scene Saturday for Virginia City's Easter egg hunt in Miners Park. More than 50 children turned out despite strong winds and cool temperatures.
Seven-year-old Eric Rigby, of Dayton, came up with his family to see the Easter Bunny and get some candy.
"I like lots of them, but M&Ms are my favorite," Rigby said. "I know there are some around the tree and by the playground so I'm going there."
The 1,500 children waiting in Carson City were just hoping it would stop snowing long enough to let them scavenge for eggs.
But when the whistle blew, cold feet and damp hair were instantly forgotten as they surged onto Governors Field in search of their share of the 30,000 dyed eggs.
After four months of preparation and hours of work, it took less than 10 minutes for the hordes of children to pick the field clean.
In the aftermath, Arthur Navarro, 10, and his brother Mathew, 8, both of Carson City, sorted through their haul of over 100 eggs, tossing out the damaged ones and looking for prize eggs.
"We've done this a lot. Lots of years," Arthur said as he chucked a broken egg over his shoulder.
Once they had collected their bounty, the pair stopped briefly to chat with the Easter Bunny and McGruff the Crime Dog. As they headed to the warmth of the car, gulls began to feast on the smashed eggs and volunteers worked to clean up the field.
The boys looked to the sky.
"Hey, it stopped snowing," Arthur said.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at email@example.com or 881-1217.