On Christmas Eve, kids of all ages will be able to track Santa's travels around the world as he gets closer and closer to Douglas County by logging on to the Douglas County web site at www.CelebrateDouglasCounty.com. During the holidays, the Douglas County web site has a special header at the top of the page where all can just click and be transported to the Santa tracking of NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
NORAD is a joint organization of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Air Force that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty and defense over North America. It is headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colo., and at the adjacent Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center.
On Christmas Eve, NORAD updates it web site hourly as Santa travels from time zone to time zone, starting at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and traveling west over Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, South America, and North America. "Santa Cam" videos show computer-generated images of Santa flying over famous landmarks, and the videos are narrated by Royal Canadian and United States Air Force service members who track Santa on his travels.
Douglas County annually provides this program through its web site, and hundreds of residents log on throughout Christmas Eve to see where Santa is at that particular time, for, as everyone knows, Santa only visits good boys and girls when they are asleep, so this advises children when Santa may be approaching and they need to get in bed.
Children may log on in advance of Christmas Eve to see other Santa features, and to see a countdown in days, hours, minutes and seconds until Santa leaves the North Pole to travel the world.
The NORAD Tracks Santa tradition began in 1955 when a local Sears store in Colorado misprinted the telephone number that children could call to talk to Santa, and the number connected to NORAD's predecessor, the Air Defense Command. The ADC staff gave all children who called the "current location" of Santa, and the program was born. The program is in the tradition of the September 1897 editorial in the New York Sun entitled "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."
Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan stated, "We are proud to be able to provide Santa tracking on the Douglas County web site each Christmas season so that our County's children will enjoy the wonder and thrill of seeing Santa get closer and closer to their home. Tracking Santa is an activity that we hope will bring families together during this most wonderful of all seasons. It is our way of saying 'Merry Christmas' to our citizens."
The Douglas County Web site, www.CelebrateDouglasCounty.com, is a program of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners through its Department of Communications and Community Relations.