Christmas is on the immediate horizon, and area youngsters are waiting anxiously for Santa. Some children might worry that the Polar Vortex that’s causing severe weather in the northern states might delay Santa’s arrival, but parents can sit down at a computer with their children and track Santa’s progress, thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command – NORAD.
NORAD is celebrating its 61st Anniversary of tracking Santa’s yuletide journey, and families can follow Santa’s progress by logging on to the NORAD Santa website at noradsanta.org. The website, already online, features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, activities, and more. Best of all, the NORAD Santa 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 smart phones and tablets.
Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Google+. Santa followers just need to type “@noradsanta” into each search engine to get started.
Starting at 2:01 a.m. EST on December 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 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 December 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.
NORAD Tracks Santa is truly a global experience, delighting generations of families everywhere. It all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct – only 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, which NORAD carried on since it was created in 1958.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.