PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP/CBS4) — Hundreds of volunteers are on the phones at an Air Force base in Colorado, answering questions from eager kids who want to know where Santa is on his Christmas Eve travels.

fri0223 webextranoradsantatracketrunc frame 958 NORAD Takes Calls From Kids Awaiting Santa For 62nd Year

(credit: CBS)

NORAD Tracks Santa got underway early Sunday at Peterson Air Force Base. It’s the 62nd year for the wildly popular program run by the U.S. and Canadian militaries.

This year, NORAD is teaming up with Alexa to help track Santa’s whereabouts.

Alexa will be using the military-run program tracking his route. The public can ask Alexa “Where’s Santa?” and Amazon’s voice-activated computer service will answer.

fri0223 webextranoradsantatracketrunc frame 268 NORAD Takes Calls From Kids Awaiting Santa For 62nd Year

(credit: CBS)

The tracking service began in 1955 when a newspaper ad invited children to call Santa but mistakenly ran the phone number for the hotline for NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command.

Last year, NORAD Tracks Santa received nearly 154,200 phone calls and 10.7 million unique website visitors. It also snared 1.8 million followers on Facebook and 177,000 on Twitter.

The toll-free telephone number for NORAD tracks Santa is 877-Hi NORAD or 877-446-6723.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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