The ceremonial procession that preceded the Roman games was called the pompa cirensis. It was characterized by great splendour and picturesqueness. The procession started from the Capitol to reach the circus. At its head was the official who presided over the games, followed by priests, youth, players, dancers, musicians, and finally a procession of the gods in parade chariots.
Musicians and dancers made jokes at the audience and indulged in all sorts of clowns. Pompa cirensis, although in essence a religious celebration, became the nucleus of the Roman theatre. You can also see its kinship with the triumphal procession.