PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will begin keeping a watchful eye on Santa Claus’ yuletide travels this week.
The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, launches Friday, Dec. 1, and marks the 62nd year for the organization’s efforts to track the jolly old elf.
Starting at 3:01 a.m. P.E.I. time on Christmas Eve, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the site as St. Nick and his reindeer fly over various locations.
At 7 a.m. local time, trackers can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialling 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 Christmas Eve.
Starting Friday, the website will also feature Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games and activities. The site is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Chinese.
NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available in the Apple and Google Play stores, so parents and children can count down the days until Santa’s launch on their smartphones and tablets.
Tracking opportunities are also offered through social media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
NORAD’s Santa tracking all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa directly – except 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 NORAD has carried on since its creation in 1958.