Photo of the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations
Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, 23 December 2020. 2020 marks the 65th Anniversary of the NORAD Christmas tradition DoD Photo by Thomas Paul.

December 24, 2020 – The North American Aerospace Defense Command is celebrating the 65th Anniversary of tracking Santa’s yuletide journey around the globe!

NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Then, at 3 a.m. PST, trackers worldwide can call to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) where they will either speak with a live phone operator or hear a recorded update.

Due to COVID concerns, the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center will have fewer phone operators, so callers who do not reach a volunteer will hear a regularly updated recording as to Santa’s current location. Anytime on Dec. 24, Amazon Alexa users can ask for Santa’s location through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa.

Tracking Santa has been a tradition since 1955 when a local newspaper advertisement informed children they could call Santa directly – only the contact number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty, U.S. Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the predecessor to NORAD. Col. Shoup was quick to realize a mistake had been made, and assured the child he was Santa. Shoup then assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls. Thus, a holiday tradition was born, which NORAD has carried on since it was created in 1958. Each year since, NORAD has reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions of children and families around the world.

NORAD Tracks Santa is truly a global experience, delighting generations of families everywhere. This is due, in large part, to the efforts and services of numerous program contributors.

This year’s contributers include: the 21st Space Wing, 24-7 Press Release, Acuity Scheduling, Alaskan NORAD Region, Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), Agingo, Amazon Alexa, Avaya, Canadian NORAD Region, Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence, CenturyLink, Cesium, Cherry Hill Programs, The Citadel Mall, Christmas in the Park, Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation, Continental U.S. NORAD Region, CradlePoint, Defense Video & Imagery Distribution Systems, DoD Education Activity, The Elf on the Shelf, Extended Stay America, Getty Images, Globelink Foreign Language Center, Hewlett Packard, Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, Lotz Of Happy Christmas, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Meshbox, Microsoft, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Bing, Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific, NASA Space Place, Nashville Net User Group, Navy Marine Corps Public Health Center, OnStar, Package from Santa, Plantronics, Portable North Pole, Royal Canadian Air Force Band, S4, SciJinks, Shirt Stop, SiriusXM, Six String Soldiers, Slicktext, Space Foundation, Together We Stand Foundation, U.S. Air Force Band, U.S. Air Force Academy Band, U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band, U.S. Coast Guard Band, U.S. Department of State Family Liaison Office, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Navy Band Northeast, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Verizon.