NORAD Holiday Tradition Continues
It all started at the height of the Cold War. In 1955 a local media ad ran in December offering a telephone number for children to call Santa Claus. The number was misprinted. Instead of reaching the Jolly Old Elf, the call reached the Crew Commander at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). It was what Seinfeld’s Cosmo Kramer might call a “Miracle”. The tradition started where the military base started tracking Santa Claus.
The business of tracking Santa started to get serious in 1958 and has continued to this day.
Today, the website, NORAD Tracks Santa website, http://www.noradsanta.org/ , goes live. This year in keeping with the technology, the site features a mobile version, a holiday countdown, new games and daily 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 Windows, 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 are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Santa followers just need to type “@noradsanta” into each search engine to get started.
North Pole Elves
Also new this year, the website features Santa’s elves in the North Pole Village. NORAD Tracks Santa is introducing the newest elf and asking the public to help choose the perfect name for him. Details can be found via NORAD Tracks Santa social media or in the “Name the Elf” video in Santa’s North Pole Movie Theater at www.noradsanta.org.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. MST 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 4 a.m. MST (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, Windows Phone users can ask Cortana for Santa’s location, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to find Santa.
Santa-tracking is Global Experience
NORAD Tracks Santa is 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: the 21st Space Wing, Acuity Scheduling, Alaska NORAD Region, America Forces Network (AFN), Analytical Graphics, Inc., Avaya, BeMerry! Santa/Noerr Program, Bing®, Canadian NORAD Region, The Citadel Mall, Colorado Springs Business Alliance, Continental NORAD Region, CradlePoint, Defense Video & Imagery Distributions Systems, DoD News, Federal Aviation Administration, Globelink Foreign Language Center, Harris, Hewlett Packard (HP), iLink-Systems, Kids.gov, Level 3 Communications, Marine Toys for Tots, Foundation, Meshbox, Microsoft®, Microsoft® Azure, Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific, National Tree Lighting Ceremony, Naturally Santa’s Inc., Newseum, OnStar, PCI Broadband, Portable North Pole/ Ugroup Media, Pueblo Riverwalk, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado, Space Foundation, Spil Games, SriiusXM®, Strategic Air & Space Museum, Unity, U.S. Allegiance, U.S. Air Force Academy Band, U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty, U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, U.S. Air Force Band of the West, U.S. Air Force Band, U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band, U.S. Army Ground Forces Band, U.S. Coast Guard Band, U.S. Department of State Family Liaison Office, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Band of MidAmerica, Verizon, Visionbox, West Point Band, and Xtomic.