Holiday tradition transforms Niles Fire Station 8 - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Holiday tradition transforms Niles Fire Station 8

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NILES, Ohio -

A longstanding Christmas tradition lives on for both the young and old who travel through the city of Niles.

Fire station 8, off of Route 46, offers a new theme on its doors every year.

Characters from cartoons including some considered classics from the past, become life-size to celebrate Christmas in Niles.

"People always will run into you and they'll ask you about what the whole theme is this year and people get excited about it," Lt. John Stevens said, Nile fire department.

For the last 12 years Aimee Cantola has painted on the display that fills the glass windows at Fire Station 8, carrying on the tradition from late firefighter John Hughes.

The themes have varied over the years from the Peanuts to the Grinch. She says she often inspired by the young imaginations at home every time she plans out a design.

"I usually ask my daughter, I'll say 'pick out something the kids like', so that's what we usualy do," Cantola said.

Cantola begins with a sketch on a grid by October, that way she can have the entire display up by Thanksgiving.

"When you get a lot of characters it's hard, because the windows have grids, so you kind of have to put their face on it, then you have a nose over here and an eye over here," she explained.

Cantola paints on the design in reverse from inside the station. This year, The Paw Patrol design this season took about three days to complete. 

Hard work that she says pays off by spreading Christmas cheer for all who pass or stop by.

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