PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, CO – Santa should be very familiar with Scotch Plains-Fanwood and the surrounding area. Already he has ridden through Fanwood in a pre-Christmas run with a fire department escort and had brunch at Mara's Cafe and Oh'Brian's on the Green. But on Christmas Eve, Santa takes off from the North Pole to begin his global journey to bring presents and joy to children.
As it has for more than six decades, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will track Santa’s yuletide journey at www.noradsanta.org. What began as an advertising misprint is now a sophisticated multi-media tracking system that delivers Santa Claus’ whereabouts with split-second precision to children around the world.
Starting on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as jolly old St. Nick makes his way over various locations.
As if all that tracking ability were not enough, at 6 a.m. EST, trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to ask about Santa’s location by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to email@example.com.
In 1955, a Colorado Springs-based Sears, Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of calls ringing to Santa, the phone number rang the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), the precursor to NORAD. Instead of turning the calls away, the director of operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff provide radar-tracked updates of Santa’s location. The tradition has continued for 60 years, to the delight of children and parents.
While waiting for Santa to arrive in SP-F, children can visit www.noradsanta.org for music, games, videos, stories and more.