DARLINGTON (WKOW) -- A Darlington mom gets the surprise of her life from country superstar Garth Brooks live in front of a nationwide audience on ABC.
WKOW was there to get a behind-the-scenes look as Good Morning America teamed up with Garth Brooks for his Mother's Day surprise. He was searching for one very deserving mother to give a personal concert to. He found her in Darlington, Wisconsin: Karen Garrison, a mother of three who goes above and beyond, not only for her own kids, but for her children's friends.
Karen is such a big Garth Brooks fan, she named two of her children "Garth" and "Brook." But that was just part of the reason why the country star decided to bring his talents to her farm Friday morning and sing her the song, "Mom" in front of hundreds of Darlington residents and family members.
The operation was a big production and keeping it a secret from Karen was no small task. But Good Morning America wanted a large crowd for the event, so local students and community members were told a television crew was filming a commercial in town. Many had no idea Garth Brooks was even there! Buses and vehicles started gathering about a quarter mile from the Garrison home around 5:30 a.m. Friends and family who knew what was actually going on, were under strict orders to keep quiet about "Garth."
Around 6:00 a.m., when Karen was waking up, the Good Morning America crew started walking people in small groups up the road to a barn near her home. We had to be as quiet as possible for fear she might hear something. Remember, this is a small farming community, and any traffic or sound is heard! In fact, Karen told us later, she heard two cars around 5:30 and wondered what all the noise was about.
By 6:30 a.m., about 150 people were stuffed into the barn right next to Karen's home. She had no idea that Garth Brooks was just outside her door as well. While her family was texting GMA producers telling them to keep us all quiet, Karen's husband Mark had told her to stay in the bathroom. She didn't know why, but she was getting suspicious. Daughter Brook says, "Lying to her was horrible. I hated lying to her because I felt so bad. The one day I thought I was going to throw up and she's like, 'Oh, Maybe you had too much dairy!' And I'm like, 'No, I'm going to throw up cause I'm lying to you!' It was terrible, It was terrible!"
After about 45 minutes of her family acting strange, a knock came to the door. They asked Karen to answer it. It was Rachel Smith with Good Morning America with news Karen was live on the show and had won the Garth Brooks Mother's Day Surprise.
While Rachel was inside with the family, the large group in the barn was ushered outside to the front of the house. Rachel brought Karen outside to another surprise: hundreds of people on her front lawn! After the group quieted down, Rachel asked Karen if she really named her children "Garth" and Brook,' all while Garth was creeping up behind Karen to surprise her.
Garth then sang an acoustic version of his song "Mom" and invited Karen and her entire family with him to his concert in Omaha that night. They left shortly after the personal "concert," but not before Garth graciously signed a few autographs, including the guitar he borrowed from a Darlington man, Jim Jacobson to sing his song.
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