LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The traditional Friday night parade in Lafayette took on a new meaning with a dedication to our frontline heroes. City leaders called it the COVID-19 Heroes Parade.

First responders from across Acadiana decked out their floats and were thanked by the people they’ve sacrificed so much for. “It’s very heartwarming to be recognized by the community that you’ve served day in and day out,” Troy Guidry with Acadian Ambulance said.

“It’s absolutely an honor. It’s really great. We’re very honored and humbled to be here,” Jen Hebert with VieMed said.

“”We dedicate our lives to this. I could speak for all of us right here that we’ve worked out butts off during this pandemic, and we’re so happy to be recognized by the community and that they’re so thankful for all of our hard work,” another VieMed healthcare worker added.

“Covid, it’s been a long battle. It hasn’t ended yet. We’re excited to take the time to just enjoy the moment and be appreciated for all the hard work and dedication that everybody’s put in,” Carole Covey with Safety Management Systems said.

“Tonight we’re out here honoring our health care heroes. These brave women and men went to bat for us during the last two years fighting this world pandemic. They’re still in the fight, but look, they’re the best,” Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory told News Ten.

“The people who have not gotten a thank you enough are those health care providers, are those frontline health care workers who at the very beginning, if you can remember some 18, 20 months ago when we didn’t know anything about this virus, they were the ones that basically rushed out to help people, just like firemen into a burning house to save someone. We didn’t have any therapeutics. We didn’t know who it would affect, but yet they worked countless hours, sometimes 24, 30 hours at a time working to save lives. So today, Mardi Gras, we’re celebrating them,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said.