DENVER (KDVR) — It’s an annual tradition based right here in Colorado: NORAD’s Tracks Santa. For more than 65 years, the North American Aerospace Defense Command – and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command – have been following St. Nick’s trip around the globe.
Watch for the tracking starting at 4 a.m. MST on Christmas Eve morning. The operation is based out of Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, the home of NORAD.
While it began with just phone calls (a wrong number, in fact), today there are many ways to check in on Santa’s journey through NORAD, including:
In past years, there have been more the 150,000 phone calls in to NORAD Tracks Santa, and more and 10 million unique visitors to the website.
For all the children in Colorado, across the U.S. and around the world who want to make sure Santa is on his way, NORAD’s tracker has become part of the fun of building anticipation on Christmas Eve.
This Christmas tradition may be NORAD’s most high-profile work, it has a more serious and important mission in protecting the both the U.S. and Canada, as a partnership between the two countries. NOARD says it is volunteers who make the Santa tracking program possible, and the money the comes in through licensing to companies covers virtually all costs.