The Ossipee Valley Fair got under way in Hiram this morning, but without the usual midway rides.

A Canadian company that had agreed to provide the rides backed out late last week, according to Kathleen Haley, a lead organizer of the annual fair. The cancellation left no time to bring in a new midway provider, so the organizers got creative, she said.

Instead of a Ferris wheel and other rides, the fair has nearly a dozen inflatable children’s attractions, a dunk tank, a mechanical bull, a rock wall, bungee jumping and many other children’s games. So far today, the crowds have been moderate and the midway makeover has not been a problem, Haley said.

The country fair has lots of music, food and the traditional fare of livestock, exhibits and events, including a pie-eating contest, horse pulling, watermelon seed spitting and pig calling.

Haley said she expects big crowds tonight for the “smoke show,” which features various motor vehicles spinning their tires on a special burn-out pad. “It’s a big draw,” she said.

For more information and a schedule of events go to: