PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (CBSMiami) – The Christmas countdown is officially underway which means The North American Aerospace Defense Command is already tracking Santa’s yuletide journey.
The NORAD Tracks Santa website, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary, officially launches Tuesday, December 1st.
The website, www.noradsanta.org, features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, movie theater, holiday music, web store, and more. the website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
There is also an NORAD Tracks Santa app which has been updated for 2020, so parents and kids can count down the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets.
On Dec. 24 at 4:00 a.m. EST, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his big flight.
NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Then, at 6 a.m. trackers worldwide can call to ask about Santa’s whereabouts. The number is 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723). Callers will either get a live phone operator or hear a recorded update.
Amazon Alexa users can also ask for Santa’s location and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa.
Tracking Santa has been a tradition since 1955 when a local newspaper advertisement informed child they could call Santa directly – only the contact number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty, U.S. Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the predecessor to NORAD.
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Col. Shoup was quick to realize a mistake had been made, and assured the child he was Santa. Shoup then assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls. Thus, a holiday tradition was born, which NORAD has carried on since it was created in 1958.
Each year since, NORAD has reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions of children and families around the world.