The very first Irish in Denver came as miners, railroad workers, soldiers, and domestic servants. These workers, cogs of an expanding American industrial empire, later gave way to 20th-century politicians, priests, and business leaders who defined Irish respectability. Denver has always been a prominent stopping point for Irish patriots and cultural icons on their way to California. Former visitors include Oscar Wilde, Michael Davitt, Eamon de Valera, and Mary McAleese. Irish cultural institutions and businesses continue to flourish across Denver, which today boasts of having the second-largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the nation.