SNOOK -- Fifteen acres of pastureland here became home to the White House, the Alamo, NASA and thousands of festival-goers on Saturday for Chilifest 2015.

In its 24th year of raising money for Brazos Valley nonprofit organizations, Chilifest sold 14,000 pre-sale tickets for the two-day event, and registered 115 cookoff teams ranging in size from 15 to 975 people. More tickets were sold at the door, but officials didn't have final numbers as of late Saturday.

"It's like a tailgate times 20," said Hunter Hidalgo, who helped put together an Alamo facade for his fraternity Alpha Tau Omega.

Taking part in the build contest, fraternities and other groups created themed structures for their parties. Some had DJs, barbecue and drinks available for their guests, while others brought couches and tents in which to lounge during the scattered rain showers, which totaled about .2 inches by 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

It took Hidalgo and his fraternity brothers two months to build their 20-foot-tall Alamo structure out of plywood and two-by-fours.

Other builds featured a western saloon, a space shuttle, a take on the Masters golf tournament, a 30-foot oil rig and a Miami Vice-themed party.

"A&M doesn't have a huge collective Greek scene but this is the one thing everybody comes to," said Josh Green, a 22-year-old supply chain management major who helped put together Sigma Nu's Miami Vice structure.

"It's the one place a conservative school can let loose," Green added.

The country music festival kicked off Friday with six musical performances and continued on Saturday with the Eli Young Band headlining.

Also performing Saturday was the Josh Abbott Band, whose namesake was seen riding a camel around the festival grounds.

Authorities patrolling the festival said arrests and citations were down from the previous year, but noted they had issued citations for minors in possession of alcohol and made marijuana-related arrests. Numbers were not available Saturday afternoon.

Between 2000 and 2014, Chilifest donated more than $2 million to Brazos Valley organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Voices for Children, Still Creek Ranch and Coach Blair Charities.

"What makes it unique is the fact that we are a nonprofit, and we're giving back to the community," Chilifest Chairman Tyler Luxion said of the event.

"We're making sure we're doing good and that our name has a positive effect on people," he said.

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