Lonely Planet Writer

The towns of Dull, Bland and Boring are celebrating their extraordinary ordinariness this week

We all love spotting a funny town name on our travels, making for a good photo opportunity, sometimes at the expense of the rude or unfortunate monikers they have. Now three of the towns with the most yawn-inducing names across the world have teamed up to celebrate everything that makes them great.

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In 2012, the Scottish town of Dull decided to embrace the joke and unofficially twinned with Boring in Oregon. The result was the ‘Dull and Boring’ Facebook page where residents chatted with one another and hatched a plan to combine forces to promote tourism. In 2013, they decided to expand the partnership into ‘The League of Extraordinary Communities’ by inviting Bland, Australia to join the club.

The trio – also dubbed the “trinity of tedium” by one Scottish newspaper – have decided to host festivities in their local communities to celebrate everything great and mediocre. The smallest of the three, Dull, has a population of just approximately 80 people and will kick the party off on Friday 28 July with a reception at the local cinema, and the mayor of Bland will be attending.

In early August, the Oregon town of Dull will host their annual celebration of the unofficial pairing of the cities, named ‘Dull and Boring Day’. A traditional Scottish piper, barbershop quartet and American folk singing mark the ceremony, and there are plans in the future to fully incorporate Bland into the day. Dull will also host their own celebration in October.

A road sign for Boring and Dull
The pairing of the towns is unofficial but lucrative. Image by pviel CC BY 2.0

While some may take offence to the campaign, the local communities are thrilled that it’s put them on the tourist map, seeing a big increase in visitors and, of course, a chance to sell Dull, Bland and Boring merchandise. Iomhar Fletcher of the Dull community council told the Times that “the partnership has done wonders for our small community. We are always meeting visitors who have heard about it and wanted to see the place for themselves. It’s a bit of fun and makes people laugh, which is what we need in this day and age.”