May 5, 2012 / 1:27 PM / 5 years ago

Berkshire meeting starts with ice cream and singing

2 Min Read

* Nearly 40,000 shareholders descend on Omaha

* Buffett will lead an all-day Q&A session

* Tosses newspapers and stops for a "dilly bar"

By Ben Berkowitz

OMAHA, Neb., May 5 (Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway opened its annual shareholder meeting on Saturday with Chief Executive Warren Buffett doing what any CEO would do for shareholders -- singing with cheerleaders and tossing newspapers in a contest against local kids.

As many as 40,000 shareholders have descended on Omaha for the event pegged as the "Woodstock for Capitalism," and Buffett did not disappoint with his pre-meeting walk around on the floor of the local convention center.

Besides his typical stops for a Coke and a Dairy Queen orange-flavored ice cream bar, Buffett took part in a newspaper tossing contest at the Omaha World-Herald booth (having bought the newspaper recently).

Security was tight, as changes this year to minimize the crowds swarming Buffett had little to no effect. At one point, Buffett's main bodyguard had to stop a woman who tried to rush up to him and hand him a book. (The same bodyguard later patted down a Reuters reporter).

The meeting will open later Saturday morning, as it does every year, with an original movie, followed by hours of questions and answers from shareholders, journalists -- and for the first time this year, a panel of Wall Street analysts.

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