City Councilman Al Taubenberger (left) presents a citation in honor of state Rep. Mark Cohen for his 42 years of service. BILL ACHUFF / FOR THE TIMES
The annual Northeast Celebration on Saturday attracted hundreds of people to Max Myers Playground, 1601 Hellerman St. in Castor Gardens.
The Take Back Your Neighborhood civic association sponsored the celebration. Lines were long during the five-hour event for free food inside the recreation center.
Other indoor events included a magic show, flu shots and demonstrations by the Philadelphia Zoo, Academy of Natural Sciences and Franklin Institute.
Outside, visitors could pick up recycling buckets and schoolbags; watch a K-9 demonstration; listen to music and watch dance performances; ride a fire truck train; and be entertained by a clown.
Other activities included nail polishing, sand art, spin art, balloon art, Home Depot projects for kids, face-painting, coloring and children’s carnival games.
Take Back Your Neighborhood founder and president Jared Solomon also honored state Rep. Mark Cohen (D-202nd dist.), whom he defeated in a rough-and-tumble Democratic primary in April. Taking part in the ceremony were Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale, state Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-2nd dist.) and City Councilman Al Taubenberger (R-at large).
“Mark Cohen had a 99-percent voting record over 42 years. We’re going to miss him,” Bloomingdale said.
Tartaglione thanked Cohen for guiding her after she was elected in 1994, adding that his office provides good constituent service and he has institutional knowledge.
“He knows everything,” she said.
Taubenberger presented Cohen with a Council resolution supported by all members.
“He’s the embodiment of public service,” the councilman said. “He always served us well. We will very, very much miss him.”
Cohen said he enjoys creating state laws and helping people on an individual basis. His accomplishments have included creating district offices for lawmakers, developing the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly, passing casino legislation, linking Medicaid expansion to Obamacare, encouraging organ transplants and legalizing medical marijuana.
“It has been my great pleasure to serve the people of Philadelphia for 42 years,” he said. “I’ve greatly enjoyed serving in the House.”
A lawyer, Cohen will seek the Democratic and Republican nominations next year for a seat on Common Pleas Court. ••
Monique Edwards, Nicole Loughran, Monique Edwards, 7, Minnah Edwards, 3, Anyia Loughran, 6, and Trisha Edwards, 11, enjoy the festivities. BILL ACHUFF / FOR THE TIMES
Fun in the sun: Twins Angelina and Talisha Dias show off their sand art during the annual Northeast Celebration in Castor Gardens. BILL ACHUFF / FOR THE TIMES