PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The North American Aerospace Defense Command is celebrating the 62nd anniversary of tracking Santa’s yuletide journey.
The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, launched Dec. 1 and features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, activities, and more. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available in the Apple and Google Play stores, so parents and children can countdown the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets. Tracking opportunities also are offered through social media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
Starting at 2:01 a.m. EST on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Then, at 6 a.m. EST, trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any time on Dec. 24, Amazon Alexa users can ask for Santa’s location through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa. Bing and Cortana users can also find Santa’s location on Dec. 24.
NORAD Tracks Santa is truly a global experience, delighting generations of families everywhere. This is due, in large part, to the efforts and services of numerous program contributors.
This year’s contributers include: the 21st Space Wing, Acuity Scheduling, Adobe, Alaska NORAD Region, Analytical Graphics, Inc., Agingo, Amazon Alexa, Avaya, Bing, Canadian NORAD Region, Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence, CenturyLink, Cesium, Cherry Hill Programs, Chirpon, The Citadel Mall, Civil Air Patrol, Christmas in the Park, Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation, Continental NORAD Region, CradlePoint, Defense Video & Imagery Distribution Systems, DoD News, DoD Education Activity, The Elf on the Shelf, Extended Stay America, Getty Images, Globelink Foreign Language Center, Hewlett Packard, Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, iLink-Systems, ikaria consulting, Kids.gov, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Microsoft, Microsoft Azure, Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific, Newsline360, Office Depot, OneRender, OnStar, Plantronics, Portable North Pole, Prefixa, Proactive, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado, S4, SiriusXM, Space Foundation, Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, U.S. Air Force Band, U.S. Air Force Academy Band, U.S. Department of State Family Liaison Office, U.S. Olympic Committee, Verizon, and Zillow.
It all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct — only the number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Thus began the tradition, which NORAD carried on since it was created in 1958.