Tonight (Wednesday, June 7) is scheduled to be the kickoff for one of our favorite events of the entire year – Center City SIPS in Philadelphia.

The City of Philadelphia is battling its worst air quality conditions since 2001, via and Philadephia's Air Quality Index is currently showing as 184.

So will the event take place putting thousands of Philadelphians at risk for breathing issues as happy hour events take place at more than 70 outdoor venues across the city later this afternoon?

The smoky conditions are plaguing the Northeast. And it’s related to the Canadian wildfires. The smoke is being sent down to the northeast due to an aggressive wind pattern, according to 94.5 PST's Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

Center City SIPS runs Wednesday evenings through the summer, starting at 5 p.m. The 2023 season is scheduled to kick off on June 7 and it will run through August 30.

The participating bars and restaurants offer $7 cocktails, $6 wine, $5 beers, and half-priced appetizers 5-7 p.m. weekly. Some restaurants offer dinner specials after 7 p.m. as well.

Many of the participating restaurants, of course, are outdoor beer gardens and encourage outdoor seating. You can view a full list of the Center City SIPS participating venues here.  

As for tonight's event, we’ve reached out to the Center City District, which organizes the SIPS event, and they have not responded to our requests.

So it's assumed the event is still on.

However, restaurant owners tell The Inquirer that they are not planning on closing (at this time). One of those owners, Avram Hornik (who owns venues including Liberty Point) said if they’re told to close their outdoor seating, they will. They have not received any guidance to that effect from the city yet.

For those wondering about Wednesday night's Philadelphia Phillies game: that is also still scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening (as of 3 pm). That game gets underway at Citizen's Bank Park in South Philly at 6:40 pm.

NJ's crazy haze, choking smoke, and sinister sky

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