DENVER (AP) Hundreds of volunteers are ready to answer the phones when children from around the world call to ask when Santa will bring presents to their house despite the federal government shutdown.
In the event of a government shutdown, NORAD will continue with its 63-year tradition of NORAD Tracks Santa on Dec. 24. Military personnel who conduct NORAD Tracks Santa are supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers who make the program possible each and every year. pic.twitter.com/fY0oyjrdDc
— U.S. Northern Command (@USNorthernCmd) December 21, 2018
The military says the NORAD Tracks Santa won’t be affected by the partial shutdown because it is run by volunteers at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado and is funded by the Department of Defense’s budget that was approved earlier this year.
Monday is the 63rd year for the Santa tracker, which became a Christmas Eve tradition that began in 1955 with a mistaken phone call to a military command center. A newspaper ad invited kids to call Santa but accidentally printed the number for the hotline.
Kids can call NORAD Tracks Santa starting at 4 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. The number is 1-877-HI-NORAD.