PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (CBS4) – The North American Aerospace Defense Command is preparing to track Santa’s gift-giving trek around the world. NORAD’s Santa Tracker website will launch on Tuesday for the 65th year.
The website noradsanta.org features a holiday countdown, games, movies, music and a webstore. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Families can also track Santa using Amazon Alexa and OnStar. NORAD will post updates on St. Nick’s location on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos starting at 2 a.m. MST on Christmas Eve as Santa and his reindeer kick off their journey across the globe. Starting at 4 a.m. MST, trackers can call NORAD to check in on Santa and his whereabouts. The toll-free number is 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723).
The tradition of tracking Santa started in 1955 when the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center began receiving calls from kids asking for Santa. It turns out a local newspaper ad listed the wrong number for Santa Claus. Instead, the phone rang to the crew commander on duty, U.S. Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup.
Shoup realized there was a mistake, and assured the children he was Santa. The calls turned into a holiday tradition. Each year since 1958, NORAD has reported Santa’s location to millions of people.