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The federal government shutdown has washed away - at least for now - a long-standing sand castle contest that raises money for arts programs at public schools.The contest was to take place Saturday at San Francisco's Ocean Beach, with teams from 26 public elementary schools collaborating with adults from design-related firms to build fantastical structures of water and sand.But the 30th annual contest was postponed "indefinitely" on Tuesday. The beach is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which has furloughed most of its employees and revoked all event permits until there's a resolution of the standoff in Washington, D.C., over funding for the 2013-14 federal budget."We are in purgatory right now," said Julie MacDonald, executive director of Leap, the San Francisco nonprofit that uses the contest as a fundraiser to support its art education programs in Bay Area schools. "We have every intention of holding the event, but we're powerless to reschedule until the government is fully operational."A GGNRA official working Tuesday, on reduced hours, was apologetic."With no appropriated funds for the year, we're not allowed to incur costs on behalf of the government," said Alexandra Picavet of the federal agency based at Fort Mason. "This is a terrific event on so many counts, but we don't have the authority to allow permitted events that require (park ranger) staffing."