Shutdown won’t turn off NORAD’s Santa tracker; ZooLights stay on, too

WASHINGTON — The government might shut down, but you best believe Christmas ain’t canceled.

Santa will still make those appointed rounds to the well-behaved Monday night. And despite any inertia in D.C., the North America Aerospace Defense Command will once again track Kris Kringle’s sleigh and reindeer entourage around the globe this year.

Those who are too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve can follow Santa’s round-the-world trip with NORAD online or with Google. They use “satellites, high-powered radar, jet fighters and special Santa cameras” for their annual mission.

This will be the 63rd anniversary of the first night that the jolly elf was tracked. It all began somewhat by accident, when a child called a misprinted phone number in an ad. He ended up getting through to NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command.

The child was assured that Santa would get his errands done safely that night in 1955.

National Zoo will stay lit

The National Zoo will remain open through Jan. 1, except for Tuesday. ZooLights will continue as well every night except for Monday, Tuesday and Dec. 31.

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