NORAD Santa Trackers Have Record Holiday

December 25, 2011 by staff 

NORAD Santa Trackers Have Record HolidayNORAD Santa Trackers Have Record Holiday, Santa piled up more than presents this year – trackers at NORAD say he also broke records during his global mission Christmas Eve. Volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado fielded just under 100,000 telephone queries about his progress late Saturday, breaking the previous mark of 80,000. And his NORAD Facebook page approached one million “likes,” compared with 716,000 a year ago.

Volunteers at NORAD Tracks Santa said kids started calling at 4 a.m. Saturday to find out where Santa was.

“The phones are ringing like crazy,” Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis said Saturday.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command has been telling anxious children about Santa’s whereabouts every year since 1955. That was the year a Colorado Springs newspaper ad invited kids to call Santa on a hotline, but the number had a typo, and dozens of kids wound up talking to the Continental Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor.

The officers on duty played along and began sharing reports on Santa’s progress. It’s now a deep-rooted tradition at NORAD, a joint U.S.-Canada command that monitors the North American skies and seas from a control center at Peterson.

Officials said records set this year were likely generated by people passing the word as well as social media interest.

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