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Boring honors Dull with annual party Aug. 9

Boring will again honor its state-recognized pairing with Dull, Scotland, with a community social at Boring Station Trailhead Park from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9.

Steve Bates, president of the Boring Community Planning Organization, said the event will include an ice cream social, a flag salute and live music, including bagpipers.

Boring and Dull “twinned” a couple of years ago, and the Bland Shire Council in Australia voted earlier this year to make it a threesome, according to the Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser, which called it “a quirky new tourism partnership” for the three entities.

But it’s not so quirky, and maybe effective advertising for the three, according to a blog by Andy Sernovitz at www.damiwish.com titled “Unusually Useful Ideas for Smart Marketing.”

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED: FACEBOOK DOWNLOAD - The community of Boring was named for William H. Boring, left, pictured with his son Orville and wife Sarah.“It’s easy to feel like the underdog out there sometimes,” Sernovitz wrote. “Maybe you can’t afford that store space in the cool part of town, maybe it’s hard for your product to stand out or maybe you have a name like Boring. Whatever your obstacle, you can make your stuff more remarkable with a little ingenuity.”

He recommends overcoming being the underdog by one of three strategies: make a scene, make it shelf-worthy or make a partnership. Boring followed the latter advice, he wrote.

“The small farming town of Boring, Oregon, has heard all of your jokes and they’ll admit there’s not really much going on there. But when one resident came across Dull, Scotland, an even tinier town north of Glasgow, they decided to bring a little excitement to both communities by celebrating Boring and Dull Day. It’s a way to bring the communities closer together and earn some publicity for their little towns. On their own, Boring and Dull are funny town names. But by making a partnership, they made something worth talking about.”

The strategy has worked and the pairing of the two communities and the Australian shire (equivalent of a county) has received plenty of attention from the international press and the BBC even filmed a segment in Boring in April.

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Richard Glover weighed in the unusual marketing strategy in a July 24 column.

“I’ve been thinking about these strange place names ever since news broke that the shire of Bland...had signed a partnership with the towns of Dull in Scotland and Boring in the United States. The trio — and I swear this is true — will now enter an international tourism arrangement under the previous unused sales pitch, ‘We’re Bland, Dull and Boring, so come visit.”

But the play on words is contagious, and Glover couldn’t resist his own puns, and wrote, “I do want to be there when the official papers are signed, ‘I’d like to welcome some Boring visitors, some Dull friends and the Bland people, who of course, have long called this place home.’”

Bland Shire was named for William Bland, founder of the Australian Medical Association, while Boring bears the name of William H. Boring, a Civil War veteran of the Union Army who settled there in 1874. Dull derives its name from the Pictish word for fields.

Bob Boring, a descendant of the town’s namesake, said last year’s Boring and Dull Day drew about 500 visitors.

“If weather’s good I’m sure we’ll have more this year,” he said.