NOVEMBER 30, 2021 — The North American Aerospace Defense Command is celebrating the 66th Anniversary of tracking Santa’s yuletide journey around the globe! The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, launching Decemeber 1, features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, movie theater, holiday music, webstore, and more.
The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
The official NORAD Tracks Santa app is also in the Apple App 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 through social media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, as well as on partner platforms Bing, Amazon Alexa and OnStar.
Starting at 4 a.m. EST on December 24, website visitors can see updates as Santa makes preparations for his flight. Then, at 6 a.m. EST, trackers worldwide can call to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) where they will either speak with a live phone operator or hear a recorded update.
Due to COVID concerns, the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center will have fewer phone operators, so callers who do not reach a volunteer will hear a regularly updated recording as to Santa’s current location.
Anytime on December 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. Santa Trackers can also use the Bing search engine to learn of Santa’s location.
Tracking Santa has been a tradition since 1955 when a local newspaper advertisement informed children 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.
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 December 24 to millions of children and families around the world.
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 contributors include:
Peterson-Schriever, Garrison, Acuity Scheduling, Alaskan NORAD Region, Agingo, Amazon Alexa, Amazon Web Services, AGI, an Ansys Company, Ansys, Avaya, Canadian NORAD Region, Canadian Forces Museum, of Aerospace Defence, CenturyLink, Cesium, Christmas in the Park, Colorado Springs, Chamber & Economic, Development, Corporation, Continental U.S. NORAD, Region, CradlePoint, Defense Video & Imagery, Distribution Systems, DoD Education Activity, The Elf on the Shelf, Getty Images, Globelink Foreign, Language Center, Hewlett Packard, Historic Arkansas, Riverwalk of Pueblo, Lotz Of Happy Christmas, Marine Toys for Tots, Foundation, Meshbox, Microsoft, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Bing, Naden Band of Maritime, Forces Pacific, NASA Space Place, Nashville Net , User Group, Navy Marine Corps Public, Health Center, OnStar, Package From Santa, Plantronics, PR Karma, Portable North Pole, Royal Canadian Air Force Band, SciJinks, Shirt Stop, SiriusXM, Six String Soldiers, Space Foundation, Together We Stand Foundation, U.S. Air Force Band, U.S. Air Force Academy Band, U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band, U.S. Coast Guard Band, U.S. Department of State Family Liaison Office, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Navy Band Northeast, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Verizon
Story by 1st Lt. Sable Brown
NORAD Tracks Santa