ELIZABETH, NJ – Authorities have cleared Santa Claus for take-off for his around the globe flight, so all the good little boys and girls in Elizabeth can expect a visit Christmas Eve.

At the North Pole, Dr. Joe Kinnarney, Santa’s veterinarian and president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, has given the green light to Rudolph’s red nose and the rest of the reindeer that will be traveling the world this Christmas Eve. He checked that Santa’s team of nine were up-to-date on their vaccinations and healthy enough to make their annual trek around the globe. Santa is also required to bring with him an official “North Pole Certificate of Animal Export” that allows him to freely cross borders and ensure health officials that his reindeer are no threat to animal or public health.

 

While unavailable for comment due to his busy work schedule, Santa issued a statement, saying, “Without my reindeer there simply would be no Christmas. Proper veterinary care ensures that, year in and year out, my team and I are able to deliver presents to boys and girls around the world. Dr. Kinnarney is definitely on the ‘nice list’ again this year.”

For kids who want to help the reindeer on their journey, Dr. Kinnarney recommended leaving a plate of graham cracker reindeer cookies, their favorite snack, for Santa to feed them between stops.

At the North American Aerospace Defense Command, senior officials are getting ready to track Santa for the 60th year, making sure nothing will interfere with his route.

The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, and activities.  Technology is playing a big role in this year’s Santa tracking. Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are available in the Windows, Apple and Google Play stores, so parents and children can countdown the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets!  Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.  Santa followers just need to type “@noradsanta” into each search engine to get started. 

Starting at 12:01 a.m. MST (2:01 a.m. EST) on Dec. 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 4 a.m. MST (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 noradtrackssanta@outlook.com. Any time on Dec. 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.

In Elizabeth, the Mayor and City Council have been busy making sure Santa’s annual visit goes smoothly, “The City of Elizabeth is gearing up for that one magical night that happens each year. Rest assured that preparations and plans are in place for all to run smoothly for Santa and his reindeer,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “Although our offices will be closed for the holiday, the annual tradition of leaving carrots and cookies on the rooftop of the building will continue as Santa and his reindeer often stop there to enjoy the view of our great city. Skies are forecasted to be clear, so keep your eyes open - you may just catch a glimpse.”