Your smartphone will come in handy if you plan to find parking in the city for summer events or to attend a major suburban festival.
The 27th Naperville Ribfest on July 3-6 in Knoch Park in Naperville offers something different for the first time this year: it's own app.
The free app from iTunes offers thousands of fest-goers a chance to plan their trip before and during the event, buy tickets, get shuttle information, scan band performances and more, said Paul Feith, principal at Paul Gregory Media, which helped to design the app, and is a member of the Ribfest marketing team.
Feith worked with Lisle-based Lextech, a mobile app development company, to develop the app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. An Android version could be available next year, Feith said.
"This will help you build your itinerary, follow your favorite bands, and see their social media," Feith said.
Those who use the app before the Ribfest also can participate in fun-fact contests and be eligible for a raffle to win tickets to the fest, he said.
The app also indicates the rib vendors, food and drink, band stages and others by their locations on the fest grounds using a geolocation map, he said.
"This will help you quickly see where you are in relation to the place you want to be," Feith said.
Those who download the app also will receive push notifications on schedule changes for bands and even weather alerts, he said.
To download the app, search the iTunes app store for Naperville
Ribfest, see https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id879619245?mt=8
In addition, Chicago-based SpotHero aims to help you find parking at a discount in the city. The company behind SpotHero is a startup technology company with offices in New York City and San Diego. Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Smith, born and raised in Skokie, launched the company after racking up over $5,000 in parking tickets in Wrigleyville. Smith works with Co-founder and CEO Mark Lawrence of Winnetka.
The app helps drivers to find and to reserve parking at garages and lots in advance online or on the go. It also offers parking up to 50 percent to 80 percent off the drive-up rates, a company spokeswoman said.
The iPhone download is available at itunes.apple.com/us/app/spothero-parking-best-parking/id499097243?mt=8 and the Android version is at play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spothero.spothero.
•Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at email@example.com.