Kids can track Santa’s flight


The North American Aerospace Defense Command is celebrating the 61st anniversary of tracking Santa Claus’s yuletide journey.

The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, launches Dec. 1, and features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, and activities. 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 Windows, Apple, and Google Play stores, so parents and children can count down the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets. Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Google Plus. Just type “@noradsanta” into each search engine to get started.

On Dec. 24, starting at 2:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 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 or by sending an email to noradtrackssanta@outlook.com.

At any time on Dec.24, Windows Phone users can ask Cortana for Santa’s location, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa.

Contributors include the 21st Space Wing, Acuity Scheduling, Adobe, Alaska NORAD Region, America Forces Network, Analytical Graphics, Inc., Agingo, Avaya, BeMerry! and the Canadian NORAD Region, among many others/

The tradition started in 1955, when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct. Unfortunately,the number was misprinted, putting the line through to the North American Aerospace Defense Command. NORAD adopted the tradition when it was created in 1958.