By Sarah Elmquist Squires

Managing Editor

Bailey’s Tire and Auto Service owner Mike Bailey and General Manager and Fremont County Fair Board member Kassie Holdren visited the Hog Barn on Monday. Photo by Sarah Elmquist Squires.

Fremont County is alive with summer events – with the County Fair thrilling crowds and teaching area youth valuable life lessons. But many of the region’s most beloved summer staples wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of local sponsors ready to give back to the communities they serve. 

One of the fair’s – and many other local causes’ – biggest supporters is Mike Bailey, owner of Bailey’s Tire and Auto Services. On Monday afternoon, he was buzzing across Federal in his side-by-side, visiting the festivities at the fair as a smattering of rain kicked up dust at the fairgrounds.

“I’ve spent basically all my life in Fremont County,” Bailey shared, adding that both sets of grandparents lived here in the ‘40s when irrigation projects opened up and his family has been involved with farming and ranching since. 

“I try to make sure I support local activities because local folks are the ones who support our business, so it just makes sense,” he explained.

Bailey’s typically sponsors an event each year at the fair, along with a mix of sponsorships and sponsoring the fair as a whole. The fair is just one on a long list of local events and organizations that the Riverton shop donates generously to. “I support community events because the community is what supports our business, and it’s a symbiotic relationship,” Bailey said, adding he especially likes to support kids’ sports and other programs that support area youth. “Almost 100% of my donations are kept on a local basis in the areas that we serve, not the big, national organizations where you never know where the money goes.” 

As far as the fair goes, Bailey said some of the evening events like the rodeo, monster trucks and pig wrestling are the most fun, but the real value is the hard work the kids put into the event. “To me, it’s all about the kids and their exhibits at the fair,” he said. “I think it develops great character and a good work ethic … [The fair is] doing good for the members of our community. We all live here and we want to make Fremont County and Riverton a good place to live in, and that’s why we support these things.”