Smiley Sam retires after 25 years

23 November 2023


Smiley Sam retires after 25 years…and Smiley Sam Jnr takes the reins


For a quarter of a century, Smiley Sam has been touring the streets of Luton during the festive season, spreading cheer and raising money for Keech Hospice Care. In that time, he’s travelled more than 2,100 miles — that’s further than the distance from Luton to Lapland! And he’s raised over £900,000 for Keech in the process.


After so many years of service, the time has come for Smiley Sam to retire. But fear not — a brand new model, Smiley Sam Jnr, has been built by students of Barnfield College. Smiley Sam Jnr will be taking over the reins, allowing the original Smiley Sam to have a well-earned rest.


Smiley Sam Jnr starts his inaugural tour on 1st December, visiting various locations in Luton, right up to Christmas Eve. Check out his route here so you can be sure not to miss him. With Santa and a host of merry-making volunteers on board, the new-model will be the annual marker that Christmas is just around the corner.


Smiley Sam has been a huge part of Christmas in Luton, loved by adults and children, for so many years and we’re thrilled to be continuing the tradition with the creation of Smiley Sam Jnr. We’re immensely grateful to the students from Barnfield College for their enthusiasm and commitment to the project, and we can’t wait to share Smiley Sam Jnr with everyone in the community for many more years to come.