Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Is That You, Santa Claus? Track Santa with NORAD

RISMEDIA, December 21, 2010—From Paris, France, to Paris, Texas, finding Santa Claus on Christmas Eve will be as easy as making a phone call.

Starting Dec. 24 at 2 a.m. Mountain Time, to 3 a.m. on Dec. 25, children across the U.S. and Canada can call 1-877-HI-NORAD to determine Santa's exact location.

In 2009, more than 74,000 calls were answered at the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base.

This year, more than 1,200 volunteers representing military personnel from Colorado Springs, their families and friends, and NORAD Tracks Santa corporate sponsor team members will be manning the NORAD Santa tracking hotline to inform children of Santa's whereabouts during his yuletide journey.

Children, their parents and the young-at-heart also can visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website (www.noradsanta.org), which provides real-time information on Santa's exact location. The information is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Chinese—along with radar maps and streaming "SantaCam'' video images from cities along Santa's journey.

Santa also can be tracked through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and TroopTube.tv.

This marks the 55th year that NORAD, the binational U.S. and Canadian military organization responsible for the aerospace defense of both countries, has tracked Santa around the globe. The tradition started by accident in 1955 after a local newspaper misprint prompted children to call the Continental Air Defense Command (NORAD's predecessor) instead of a special Santa hotline phone number.

After hearing youngsters ask if they could speak to Santa, the colonel on duty at the time told the children he could see Santa on the radar screens, heading south from the North Pole – and a tradition was born.

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