Britney Spears Makes Her Big Vegas Entrance

12/04/2013 at 07:55 AM EST

Britney Spears in Las Vegas: The Show Begins!
Britney Spears
Denise Truscello/WireImage
Britney Spears sure knows how to create a scene.

With one estimate saying 1,000 people were waiting for her, the gathering took place outside the Planet Hollywood Resort on Tuesday as the pop princess made her "official arrival" to Sin City, all in anticipation of her 2-year residency show at the Strip hotel – due to kick off on Dec. 27, just in time for the New Year's Eve crowds.

With giant pink letters bearing Britney's name adorning the steps to the casino, at least a dozen dancers from her upcoming show performed outside the hotel, amounting to a bit of a sneak peak of what to expect when her "Piece Of Me" show opens – think fire breathers, along with a dancer re-enacting Britney's notorious 2001 VMA performance with the snake and aerialists.

And as the sun set and eight black SUVs rolled down the Las Vegas Strip, Spears, who turned 32 on Monday, arrived in a restored 1958 Chevy Impala convertible.

Looking upbeat and wearing a black cocktail dress with a rhinestone top, Spears waved to her fans, posed for photos and signed a few autographs.

"This is my city now," she told the crowd, "so I can't wait to see you guys opening night."

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