Harry's lunch bag interview winners
For the 2017-18 season, we've been picking a random winner out of the hat from our Harry's Lunch Bag pre-orders.
The young supporter then gets the opportunity to interview one of our available first-team players on a matchday.
This initiative has been very popular with our younger supporters, with some great interviews with Danny Hylton, Scott Cuthbert and Lawson D'Ath.
Take a look at some of the videos below:
Cody interviews D'Ath
Felix interviews Hylton
Family Fun Days
This season we're adding on more of our popular 'Family Fun Days' - giving our young supporters (and their mums and dads!) even more to do on a matchday.
We ended the 2016-17 season with a fun day for our match against Morecambe, and we kicked off this season's action on Saturday 9th September for our match against Swindon Town.
As ever, Happy Harry and Hatty were on hand to meet and greet children and pose for photos. Other activities on offer included the superb singer 'Rivers', who entertained the crowds with a mix of contemporary hits and classic standards. Our balloon modeller, Steve Nixon, was on hand making incredible balloon-hats for the youngsters, while our face painter set about adding even more colour to the day's proceedings over by Harry's lunch shack.
The Luton Town Community Trust brought along their entertaining inflatable goal for the kids to test their skills, the infamous Half Time Hotshots target was set up to give people a chance to test their skills and our giant Connect 4 games also helped to attract the crowds.
Elsewhere, candy floss and ice cream were available and our happy to help volunteers were on hand to distribute our free Happy Harry masks and lollies.
Players Frankie Musonda, Harry Isted, Akin Famewo and new signing Aaron Jarvis also made an appearance to meet supporters and sign autographs.
As well as all this, we continued our initiatives to give supporters an opportunity to watch the warm up from the dug out. Our supporter liaison officer selects a family at random from the crowd, so keep and eye out for him on our Saturday match days. Visiting supporters are also offered the opportunity to watch their side warm up from the away dugout via their SLO, so get in touch with John to find out more!
And supporter Cody McKee won the opportunity to interview Lawson D'Ath, thanks to his dad ordering him one of Happy Harry's lunch bags. Well done Cody!
Our next scheduled Family Fun Day is on Saturday October 14th 2017 for our match against Stevenage. Don't miss out!
Hatters awarded family excellence award
The EFL Family Excellence Award winners have been announced for the 2016/17 season and a record breaking number of 51 clubs from across all three divisions in the EFL have been recognised – with Luton Town among them!
Created in 2007, the EFL Family Excellence Award recognises the outstanding experience provided by clubs for young fans and families, as well as their efforts to enhance the match day experience.
The Hatters were nominated for awards in two categories: 'The Welcome to the Club Award', particularly referencing the section on the official website giving 10 Quick Steps for the first time visitor to Kenilworth Road, and the 'Magic Moments Award', which included our Happy Harry lunch bags and the fact that one person each game from the bag sales is invited into the dug-outs during the players' warm-up.
Other initiatives that take place each matchday include mascots visiting the dressing room and having pictures taken with manager Nathan Jones, his staff and the squad (who often end up taking the selfies for the excited youngsters, as the pictures of Danny Hylton, Jack Marriott and James Justin show!) free face painting for junior supporters at the Kenilworth Road end of the ground, the Half-Time Hot-Shots competition on the pitch and, of course, being entertained by club mascots Happy Harry and Hatty!
Hatters senior operations manager Kevan Platt attended the EFL Family Excellence event yesterday and he said: "Although we did not win any of the six mini awards, it was pleasing to be nominated in two categories with our efforts in making the matchday experience a welcoming and enjoyable one for youngsters and families at Kenilworth Road recognised by the judges.
"We know we are restricted at our current ground compared to what some clubs with more modern facilities can offer, and the proposed new stadium at Power Court will be a huge help in the future to making a day at Luton Town the complete package for all fans.
"We will be meeting once the season is over, however, to discuss ways in which we can continue to improve as we strive to top the table in family football terms, off the pitch while Nathan and the team provide entertainment on it."
Now in their 10th anniversary year, an unprecedented number of clubs have attained the Family Excellence Award for 2017, with a significant increase in the benchmark standard being applied by the judging panel. Four clubs – Cambridge United, Mansfield Town, Newport County and Aston Villa – have also received the accolade for the first time this season.
More than ever this year, EFL clubs are providing families with engaging and innovative matchday entertainment, as they continue to find new and unique ways to attract fans and their families to matches. Such experiences include high levels of ticket booking assistance for families, extensive pre-match advice, exciting entertainment both inside and outside stadiums, access to players, mascots and dedicated family zones and activities.
Over the past 10 years, more and more young people have made their way through the turnstiles in the EFL, with junior season ticket sales having increased by a staggering 37 per cent since 2007, and 20 per cent of all EFL club match attendees now under the age of 16.
Such evidence is a strong indication of a healthy future for football in this country according to Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive.
He said: "The EFL Family Excellence Awards have proven to be a fantastic vehicle for celebrating and highlighting the excellent progress that clubs are making in providing families with improved match day experiences.
"Now in their 10th year, the Awards have made a significant impact and this year's winners have once again shown how innovative thinking and a strong commitment can enhance the experience for both home and away.
"I wish to congratulate each and every club who has been recognised for playing their part in continuing to attract a growing number of younger fans to the game in what is undoubtedly a valuable indication of a bright and healthy future for the EFL."
Over the past decade eight clubs have secured the award in every year they have been eligible to receive it; Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers, Cardiff City, Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Milton Keynes Dons and Reading.
The Award recipients are decided using independent assessments from real families, who make matchday visits across all 72 League clubs, during the 2016/17 season.
The judges were particularly impressed with the efforts clubs are making to engage with families through matchday entertainment, refreshment facilities and mascot activities, all ensuring they can enjoy the match in a dedicated, safe, welcoming and entertaining environment.
The provision of informative, detailed pre-match information for families and first-time fans has also increased across League clubs, along with dedicated family stadium staff and specially trained family area 'greeters', and a comprehensive effort to rid family areas of abusive language and anti-social behaviour. These initiatives have all combined to again increase the benchmark this year.
The EFL also provides best practice guidance, benchmarking feedback and training for all clubs, to encourage them in their efforts towards achieving the mark next season.
Family fun days
For our match against Morecambe (2016-17) we invited a fantastic steel band along to the ground to entertain the crowds ahead of kick off. Games were held in front of the stadium, Harry and Hatty were on hand and artists from Luton Carnival Arts were also there with their incredible costumes.
There are more family fun days planned for 2017-18, so watch this space!