Spicing things up: Cajun brothers attend Phillipsburg rodeo each year

Ruth Nicolaus
Phillipsburg Rodeo
Jerremy Wilson and his twin brother Michael (in the green shirt, to the right) stand with their cousin Hollie Kendall at the Phillipsburg rodeo. The brothers, who grew up in Kansas but now live in Louisiana, make the trip back to the Phillipsburg rodeo each year.

PHILLIPSBURG – There’s a little piece of Cajun in Phillipsburg when the rodeo comes to town.

Brothers Jerremy and Michael Wilson, twins and native Kansans, now live in Louisiana but make the trip for Kansas Biggest Rodeo nearly every year.

And when they come, they bring the party with them.

Having grown up in Hays, the men attended the Phillipsburg rodeo periodically as kids. While they were students at Ft. Hays State University, they started going every year.

After graduation, the brothers, who are 39, worked in Kansas City for a while. A friend got a promotion and moved his office to Louisiana, taking the Wilsons with him as employees in 2007.  They now live in Baton Rouge, where they love it.

“You can’t go wrong,” in Baton Rouge, Jerremy said. “I came up with my own phrase for why I like it here. Ice goes in a glass, not on the road,” he quipped.

They have rarely missed a year of the rodeo, making the fourteen to sixteen hour trip.

And when they’re in Phillipsburg, they bring the spice with them, cooking Cajun for friends and family.

Because they can’t buy Cajun ingredients in Phillips County, they have it shipped: boudin, crawfish, “whatever we feel like getting,” to cook at their aunt Carolyn Rumbaugh’s place.

It’s a big party at their aunt’s house, with two dozen family and friends eating Cajun style, then heading to the rodeo, where the party continues.

“It’s a family reunion with the benefit of having the rodeo, too,” Jerremy said. They often pitch tents and camp out in the yard, sometimes bringing Louisiana friends with them.

They usually attend all three nights of rodeo, but especially like the Tough Enough to Wear Pink night, which is August 5 this year, because Aunt Carolyn had cancer, and was a recipient of funds through Hope in the Heartland, the organization that dispenses monies raised by the rodeo’s pink night.

The Cajun cooking goes beyond the rodeo, now. They’ve done crawfish boils for family members, and people love it.

It’s just part of the Wilson brothers’ routine.

And every August, the Wilson brothers are headed north. Ready to cook Cajun, ready to rodeo.

This year’s Kansas Biggest Rodeo is August 5-7 with performances beginning at 8 pm each night in Phillipsburg.

Tickets can be purchased online at KansasBiggestRodeo.com and range in price from $16-19 for adults and $12-$15 for children.

The August 5 night of rodeo is family night, with children ages 10 and under free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

For more information, visit the website at KansasBiggestRodeo.com or call 785-543-2448.